Apr 19, 2012

Convenient Friends

4/19/2012 — cori

I'm about to get on a soap box.  I just wanted to warn you.

Friends can be a beautiful gift or a painful reminder of deep hurt.  Friends can help carry you through or abandon you when you need them the most.  A friend is someone who laughs with you, not at you; who cries with you, not because of you.  A friend sacrifices for you.  A true friend will be "there" through the ups and downs of life, the good and the bad.

"There" is the optimal word.  It doesn't have to be physically.  But "there" counts.  It's critical actually, because it's that one word that proves the friendship.  If someone really knows you, they know how to read between the lines of what you say versus what you mean. They can see the light go in or out of your eyes.  They can hear the life and joy (or lack of it) in your voice.  They can understand the subtle nuances of your behavior and actions.

This type of friendship can only come from time spent together.  Quality time, not necessarily quantity.  It is not always comfortable or convenient.  You can't hurry this type of friendship.  It often goes places you'd rather not, uncomfortable places of arguments, miscommunication, misunderstandings and unmet expectations.  If you love someone enough, you go through those places with them.  You fight for what's important.  You love someone enough to wrestle through the hard times.  If you don't, you never valued the other enough to call them friend.

Unfortunately, now-a-days, our social media has watered down the definition of friendship to "who you know".  That's really all it takes.  They say it makes friendship easier.  Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.  I don't want to share my life with my "friend" in small snip-its in some vast chat room.  I want them to really, honestly care.  I know that it is inconvenient to truly care in today's society.  Because caring takes time and who has that anymore?  We're too harried and over scheduled to develop lasting friendships.

Social media allows you to turn your friends on and off when its convenient for you.  That's not what true friendship is about.  An honest to goodness friend should care less about whether or not time with you is convenient to their schedule.  A true friend would rather incur an inconvenience on your behalf and never even mention it to you because your friendship is that important.

I pray my children will learn the "old fashion" meaning of friendship.  I wanted to write it down here so they would have a point of reference as they grow older and wiser.  I fear for the state of friendship in the world my children inherit.  I pray they be the kind of friend they wish to have.  I hope they see social media friends as 'acquaintances' or 'people I used to know' or 'friends of convenience' rather than that true heart to heart friend.  I pray they don't substitute connecting on social media with a 'friend' as time spent investing in that friend.  I pray they take time for the people in their lives that are important to them. I hope they learn how to be the friend the wish to have.

(photo credit: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-social-media-is-ruining-relationships#1)

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