Nov 24

real-friends

The other day I thought to myself, how do you know when someone is a friend? How do you differentiate between a friend and someone who finds you useful and convenient?

This was a tough question and while many people have varying answers to it, I boiled mine down to scenarios.

A friend will come to help you even when they lack the resources and means to. A fine example that I can refer to is my nightmarish moving days when I tried to do it solo and a random friend would pop up to help. While you may see this as trivial, you have to consider the full story. I had given out ample notice that I would need help moving at x date yet everyone who promised help couldn’t attend. I’ve had this happen three times in my life and all three times, three separate people called, asked how I was doing, brushed aside my stubborn pride and showed up.

“Good conversation alone does not equate friendship”

The smallest gestures reveal the most about who will be there when it all goes south. It tells you who will schedule visitation during your stint in prison; who will leave something in your commissary; who will raise your kids if you and your family go missing. The friends who will collect your things and drag you home when you are retching and blacking out after too many mixed drinks. The friends who will hold your sister close in tears, consoling her as the judge tells you that you will spend the rest of your natural life in prison (right OJ)? Have you defined who your friends are my fellow dragons?

A friend isn’t a friend just because you befriended them on Facebook or followed them on Twitter. Good conversation alone does not equate friendship. A friend will risk incarceration to get you water after a drunk fender bender in order to sober you up – even if it doesn’t work. A friend will hold you down after you’ve dropped a guy for disrespecting you when everyone else has fled.

Sometimes its not even that extreme of a situation to show the merit of a friend. The point is, when it comes time to show quality and support, a friend is the one who steps in to show and prove. Many people say they will be there, but unless the coals get fanned and the tide gets high, you won’t know the difference between the genuine and the talkers. Look at it this way – If a family member dies, one who you are tight with (think mom) – a friend is one you would want at the funeral.

Friends aren’t habitual users of your luxuries or exploiters of your kindness – not consciously. Friends keep up with you, they ask “what’s up” and they really care about the answer. Check your friends people, look into the archives of your mind. When you post a huge life-changing occurrence on your wall in Facebook, did they call you to check on you or did they simply click the “like” button? When you had no-one to help you move did they show up at midnight after work to help you sweep up and carry that last bit of furniture to the dumpster? That guy right there, that is a friend.

When you received threats of losing your home, who offered up a room for as long as you liked to keep you warm? Who showed up to help, even though physically it would be an issue – but they came anyway? Who are your friends? Some of you may find that you really don’t have any. Honor the bond ladies and gentlemen, I know who my friends are, do you?

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