Friendship (Food for
By Manuel Hernandez-Carmona copyright
Every year on February 14th, we are all congratulating each
other about the day in hand. It is called it Saint Valentine's,
other call it The Day of Friendship or in español, "El
Dia de la Amistad". The truth is that everybody has their
own definition regarding friendship. Jonathan and David were
friends, no doubt. Joshua served Moses for a generation, but
were they really friends? How about someone that says I love
you or I appreciate you, but that so-called appreciation is
stated in words not in actions. What's an action? It means
to move and show what you mean; it's as simple as that. Did
Jesus have any friends? I mean when he walked the earth, especially
the last three and a half years. What happened to all of them
when he was arrested?
What is the least I expect from a friend? A phone call...???
A hug, a personal visit, a forwarded spiritual message. I
don't know..today, it's all expressed in e-mails. I don't
want to give my opinion, but I remember the conversations
that I have always had with my wife and son (s)..."honey,
I am your best friend, and son, you can always count on me,
no matter what." Manny..stop..a friendship is not like
that. Well, what's your opinion? I don't know...at 45 years
of age, I am still exploring the definition of friendship.
There are people that prefer to shake hands with each other
and that defines them as a spiritual brother/sister. PLEAASSE!
OK, OK, friends do go their separate ways and disconnect,
but they should find some way to communicate with each other.
In my favorite song, "Honesty" by Billy Joel, he
says that "honesty is such a lonely word" and so
is friendship. For a decade, I tried to befriend this guy,
and I literally got tired of inviting him out to lunch/dinner.
He never had the time. In the meantime, he befriended and
accepted hundreds, maybe thousands of invitations. What can
I say?! Too many years trying to reach out....one thing is
for sure...friendship is mutual and goes beyond...what can
you do for me? Other people think that trying to befriend
others means that you have some kind of "rejection"
syndrome in you. Come on, how can we pretend to be friends
in heaven, if we can't even say hello here on earth.? I don't
know!!! Explain that one to me.
One of my childhood friends comes to Puerto Rico on vacation,
calls me and says," Junior, I wanna see you." I
respond, "come on over." But he never comes by..yet
in two more years, he'll do the same thing. Others will say.."I
miss you so much." You know what I miss, "innocence"..experience
encourages us to hide, use masks and say things that we don't
Anyway, let's get back to David and Jonathan. One was the
heir of the throne, the other the annointed one, yet they
decided to love each other in-spite of what that meant. They
loved each other so much that they were willing to die for
each other. That's friendship! Hey, I am looking for a "friend",
but like BJ adds in his song, "it's hardly ever heard,
but mostly what I need from you."
by Cynthia Padin
What does friendship mean to me? It means many things, first
things that comes to my mind is loyalty, trust, love, these
are the most important things in a friendship and often they
are the most difficult to find. It means being able to share
important events and knowing that the relationship you have
with that person is special. Friends share a strong emotional
bond that can last a lifetime. I don't consider my husband
or my children friends. I wouldn't want to them to consider
me a friend either. Why? I'm not sure maybe I just want to
keep the relationship with my husband with a certain mystery
that friends don't share, and I want my children to see me
more as an authority figure. As they grow older the relationship
may change. One thing is for sure as a family we share intimacy
and we know we can always count on each other. I think friends
see each other (unlike husbands and children) like individuals
first and they must see each other as equals or peers so that
the relationship can truly flourish and last.
What do I expect from a friend? I expect many things. A friend
should be someone we can talk to when we need reassurance,
when we need advice or just when we need someone to listen
to us. A friend should be able to grieve with me and also
feel happiness when something good happens to me. I do not
in any way confuse friends with acquaintances, which are to
me just people we have something in common with. Friends are
much more than that. I can tell a true friend my thoughts
without the fear of being judged or tell them my secrets without
fear of them being told. If for some reason I cant see or
speak with my friend for a while because we just don't have
the available time to do so, it might make me sad but it doesn't
make me feel like our friendship is lost. Can the relationship
survive distance and time away? Absolutely, days, weeks or
even months can go by and we'll just start where we left off.
Seems like the older we get the fewer (true) friends we have.
We become more selective when identifying friends and we realize,
sometimes after many years that some of the people we considered
our friends are not truly friends but simply acquaintances.
What happens when we are deeply hurt by a friend? In my opinion........
I just realize they were not my "True Friends" Is
it naive to think this way? might be, but I have a few friends
and I've never been deeply hurt by them. Can a man and a woman
become true friends? In my opinion absolutely, I think it
is not only possible but more frequent than we choose to believe.
Some argue that it's not possible if there is a physical attraction
between them. I disagree, I think they might flirt, joke and
tease but ultimately the fear of damaging the true friendship
will not allow them to cross the line.
I see friendship as an investment so I make sure I nurture
the relationship, I treat my friends with respect and courtesy,
and I try to always be available for them when it counts the
most. This to me is the best way to make sure I'll keep my
good friends close to my heart.
Cynthia Padin is an English teacher and freelance