Monday, October 11, 2010

Forever Friends?

I have a lot of acquaintances. On Facebook I have hundreds of friends. They are all people that I know to one degree or another. I enjoy getting updates on their lives and activities. They are people that I care about, and I like to think that they care about me. However, most of them are not what I would call friends.

I have a great family. My parents are still the greatest influence on my life. I want nothing more in this world than their approval. I love them and know that they love me. I have a good marriage. My wife is with me all the time. We consult one another about every decision and treasure the time we spend together. My daughter is in her own category. There is no one in this world that I love more than her. (I believe that it is also true that no one loves her more than I do.) But these family members are not what I would call friends.

  • Friends are people who are related to you only because of mutual respect, affection and concern.
  • A friend is someone who is genuinely glad as you succeed in life, and is concerned and offers support and assistance in a time of need.
  • Friends offer advice and support.
  • Friends are receptacles of garbage that we vent to them and on them.
  • Friends are faithful through years, even when neglected.
  • Friends do not take up a lot of time, but they have plenty of time to give when it is needed.
  • Friends are not afraid to confront you when you mess up, but they will also help pick up the pieces when you fall apart.
  • Friends never intentionally hurt, disappoint or annoy you. When they do any of those things, they are quick with an apology and appropriate acts of contrition and restitution.
  • Friends are good for laughing with, crying with, playing with and being serious with.
  • Friends help you through difficult times and keep you grounded in the good times.
  • Friends will offer help and assistance, but will not be afraid to complain when they are being taken for granted, or taken advantage of.
  • A friend will actively work for you improvement and do their best to keep you from any self-destructive behaviors or attitudes.
  • A friend will cheer you up when you are depressed and help you keep a level head when things are going well.
  • Friends love you with no expectations or stipulations.
  • Friends are committed to the friendship without regard to convenience or personal gain.
  • Friends are in it for the long term.
  • Friends never quit being friends.
  • Friends are filled with grace, understanding, patience and forgiveness toward one another.