Gratitude Day 12: Friends

Friends, how many of us have them? Friends, ones we can depend on? Friends, how many of us have them?  Friends, before we go any further.

The rap group Whodini came out in the early eighties.  They had cuts like Five Minutes of Funk and The Freaks Come Out At Night but the one that left an imprint on my mind is Friends. The song starts by asking questions, making the listener think about the definition of the word. Then, it goes on to say, “The dictionary doesn’t even know the meaning of friends.” Well, if the dictionary can’t tell us what a friend is, how will we know? The answer? “A friend is somebody you judge for yourself.” Meaning, you get to know a person first and you’ll find out if they’re a friend or not.

But…I’m sort of an etymologist (every now and then) who can’t resist the urge to explore words.

Friend: A person you know well and regard with affection and trust; an associate who provides cooperation or assistance; a person with whom you are acquainted.

A couple of synonyms for the word friend are ally and acquaintance (a relationship less intimate than friendship)

In this technological world in which we live, I would say we all have more acquaintances than friends.  It is deceitful and naive to think because you have thousands of followers or friends on Facebook (and all the other ones) everyone is rooting for you, cares for, supports you.  No, wait until you say something they don’t agree with, or start winning in life, post too many good things, you will soon find out what type of friends you have. Some of them might actually be frenemies. People need a good dose of perspective, a reality check. Jesus had a lot of people following him for the fishes and loaves (I’m just saying). As the elders used to say, “Them people ain’t yo friends.”

I’ve heard it said that we’re lucky and blessed if in life we have one true friend.  A friend who sticks closer than a brother through thick and thin. Friends you can share your fears, dreams, joys and sorrows with, who aren’t jealous, insecure, who you can be brutally honest with (I don’t like the tip-toe dance) and still love each other, lift one another up, aren’t in competition but realizes if one of you wins, you both win and we celebrate those wins to fullest. And, if one of us is hungry, broke, hurting or in pain we’re going to fix a sandwich, buy groceries if we can, put a few dollars in your pocket until you get on your feet, come sit with you, lend a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, a box of Kleenex, a roll of tissue or clean sleeve. Whatever we have, we accommodate one another, that’s how we fix crowns in friendships.

Writing Prompt: Friendship

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