2 Years ago I had a very close Chinies friend. As anPakistani I was interested in how he defined friendship. So I asked him, “What does it mean to be a true friend in China?” He thought for a moment and then replied, “If you went into a restaurant with your friend, without asking him you would be able to order a meal with which he would be perfectly satisfied. Or if you went shopping for clothing together, you would be able to pick clothes that would make him perfectly happy.”
I was stunned. I had never thought of it in those terms before. I felt I had good friends, but at that level? I doubted I could order food for a friend; if I did, it would be what I like, not particularly what they would want.
My friend’s definition has stayed with me for years.
Invest time with your friends. Friendship can wane over time unless we invest time to contact and be with them in some meaningful way.
My very best friend from my college years passed away at age 23. As I thought about our friendship in our college years, I realized that I had allowed the friendship to wane. I wished I had spent more time with him. A simple telephone call every once in a while would have kept the friendship alive and allowed it to grow to a higher level.
Friends accept each other as they are. Of course we want the best for our friends. We want them to be as happy as possible, but that does not mean qualifying our relationships by insisting our friends become who we want them to be.
Accept them for who they are, warts and all!
Remember, they may actually like what we think is a wart!
Let’s not try to live their lives for them through the window of how we see the world. They would want us to help them live their lives as they see the world.
Sometimes I think pets make very good friends in this regard. They simply are friends in a very unqualified way. They accept us for who we are.
We accept them too! Nobody expects a dog to become a cat.
Accept our friends for who they are and who they want to become.