What does friendship mean to you?, Indeed what does it mean to society? I am led to ask this question because latetly it seems to me that the value of friendship in our society, and the world at large, seems to have taken a hit, much like our Global economies…
Reading the Bible, I am ever inspired by the story of Jonathana and David, the ultimate friendship they shared, upto the point where even the Bible quotes “…That the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul…” ( 1st Sameul 18:1).
The love these two friends shared continued to live on even after one of them had died, enough to push David to care for and take care of Jonathan’s crippled son, despite the atrrocities committed to him by Jonathan’s father Saul.
Now let’s look at our friendships, relationships and yes, situationships these days ….what value do we place on them? Do they stand the test of time and weather the storms that any friendship may go through? If you notice this, the word friend-ship and also relation-ship both have the word SHIP at the end right? Look at it this way, every friendship is a partnership and therefore takes combined effort, you both need to navigate and to steer the Ship of your acquintance right to the end. However most of us tend to jump ship just when the going gets tough and we feel the storm is brewing. We never feel obligated to honor our commitments to these friendships or to remain true to them as David did even after things seemingly go bad.
I get the feeling that somehow our friendships these days are no longer about companionship, support and the joys of partnership but are now more centred along the lines of how long I need to use you for. Don’t get me wrong, yes every friendship is about give and take, but the give and take is not simply on the physical benefists that we may need them to facilitate in our lives -like a businees connection, or to help us with an assignment only- but the exchange goes even deeper to the very core of our existence, companionship; Sharing of ideas, memories, life’s events, Spirituality and yes even having that one person you talk to when nothing else seems to work, those are the true joys of friendship. To know that at any time of night or day, you can call upon that person and they will be there, maybe not physically but in any way they can be. To know that even if you are in a Jam, they will stick with you till it’s sorted not because they want something out of it but simply becuase they genuinely care.
The sad fact is now our friendships are more of short-term contracts than anything else. You are only my friend for as long as I can get what i want from you, after which you seize to matter to my life, I can freely throw you off the ship. At the end of the day you are left with your own self to blame. True some of us may be the self-sufficient type who feel they need not rely on any friend for whatever reasons, some of which may include that they have had bad friendships in the past that have damaged their image of what true, clean friendships is about, but the very nature and core element of our humanity is the need for companionship so to a certain extent, even the so called independent will need to have a support system of sorts.
So, to all of us, I pose the question that is: What Value do you place on YOUR friendships?
I am ever grateful for the poeple I get to call friends for time and time again they prove to me that they are a support structure that can be counted on, not because I am perfect, but because they make me a better me. So Yes, if you have friends that make you feel like you matter or that got your back any time of day, just for today, just this once, tell them you appreciate them and are thankful to God for who they are to you…