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Friendship and Individuality
|by Aarti Honrao|
Friendship is a golden thread woven by two friends around themselves to create a different world of their own, all by themselves. They distinguish their world from the rest of the world by their immense love for each other.
Two friends woven together by threads of friendship never feel embarrassed to share their drawbacks! They count themselves and their friend as one. Though miles apart, two friends still hold each other's hands, they can find joy also when the sky is gloomy.
Since the beginning, I have been stressing on friendship between 2 friends, because I feel, personally, that friendship can be of true nature between 2 friends.
One to one relating can never exist between friendly groups because; 1+1 is always 2 and not 3 or 4.
There is a quoting, which is as follows :
Two is company, three is crowd.
Have many acquaintances, but only one close friend.
Friendship between three (more than two) friends can never be well balanced.
(I know this chapter will give rise to many doubts and many more disagreements. Feel free to contact me and I will try my level best to explain to you what I, actually want to convey.)
My intention to write on this topic is not only to express my views but also make others realize the value of friendship, so that this earth becomes a better place to live.
Friendship, what I am talking about, here, is not friendship, which exists between any two individuals who have same choices. Two people liking vada sambaar cannot be called friends, but they think in this manner.
"I like vada-sambaar, you like it too. I like watching movies, you like it too. You like my company I like yours. We have so much in common! We are friends."
This is the general way in which people make friends these days. The meaning of 10 alphabetical words is deteriorating.
The above example is not an example of friendship; it is actually joining hands with a person whose ideas and favorites match with yours.
Friendship consists of accepting a person wholly in your life in spite of any differences that you may have. Your friend need not like what you like and vice versa.
If this is the baseline (vada-sambaar) of friendship then you may have thousands of friends! Go to the south and you will find one for every step you walk.
But! The baseline of friendship is mutual understanding. You ought to understand as to what your friend's viewpoint is before asking him/her. You must learn to listen to his/her views even if they do not match yours.
This is the beginning of a better decision. You may realize it soon that because of difference in thought or rather opinion, about a particular topic, with your friend, you reach a perfect conclusion, because of friendly discussion with your friend.
You know that there is no square root solution to 26 or 23.
Two friends interwoven in friendship hardly misunderstand each other. I used the word "hardly" because "never" would be an exaggeration. A time does come when misunderstanding crops up, but friends never let the wild grass grow and ruin their so-carefully cultivated garden of friendship. This is the sign and identity of lifelong friendship. A misunderstanding can never stand long in friendship.
In friendship. It so happens that one tends to accept the other as he/she is, with the shortcomings. Even if two friends have different view about a particular topic, they tend to listen to and adjust with other's view point, thus leaving no place for any sort of misunderstanding.
Sometimes misunderstanding helps the friends to come closer. How? Let's check it out in next chapter. Thus,
You may be friends for a long time but you never realize the importance of your friend in your life unless a misunderstanding crops up. Take for instance two friends who know each other for quite a long time. They share their feelings, love etc. By some means, a misunderstanding crop up and the two friends lose contact, they do not call up each other, do not talk to each other or do not see each other. This transient phase of misunderstanding is heart-felt. During this phase, they miss each other and run for patch up. It's during this transient phase, that lots of things, facts develop.
In short, A better understanding develops out of misunderstanding.
When friends have, amongst themselves, any kind of misunderstanding they cannot concentrate in their work, not even routine work. They tend to get irritated on any small topic. It seems as if something is biting their heart, unknowingly tears accumulate n the eyes and these tears clear all the dirt, the misunderstanding is solved.
Two friends who come out of misunderstanding resemble the gold, which comes out of fire. 'That' gold is more shining and more pure, as impurities die off in fire.
"Friends, successfully coming out of misunderstanding, hand in hand are replaceable and more true in friendship."
"No mind can ever think of any idea to break their friendship. Because of friendly misunderstanding, friends come close to each other, know each other well enough which prevents the recurrence.
Friendship and sharing go hand in hand. Where there is friendship, sharing automatically follows. The more you share more your friendship becomes intimate. Sharing is the spice of friendship. Friends never be discreet. There is no friendship without sharing. True friends not only share joy, they share sorrows too. The degree of sharing depends upon the kind of friendship. Sharing varies with depth. More deep the friendship, more the degree of sharing.
You keep on sharing your problems with your friend and empty your heart. Just try to understand the position of your friend. Your friend, too, has problems of his own, which he never shares with you because he does not want to add to your problems, as he is aware of your problems.
Because of this, it so happens that you add to the pre-existing tensions of your friend. You float in air because you empty your tensions but your friend is buried in earth because of double burden. Just think, do you have any right to do this to your friend?
Sharing should be limited, in such a way that it is two way. Never let your friend realize that you have hell lot of problems, by doing this you will snatch a friend from your friend. You will have a friend to talk to! But your friend will be left with no one to share his problems.
Never only be a speaker, let your friend speak too! A true friend will always be a good listener! But do not take undue advantage of it. If you are a speaker - vomiting your problems on your friend and your friend does not get a chance to share his problems with you then most probably you are a bad and selfish friend.
They say, "Words are not needed in love, eyes speak to each other."
True friendship consists of putting yourself in your friend's place. Know that your friend is as emotional as you. The thinking level of two friends lies at the same level as if in the same brain! You can know when your friend is thinking of you and your friend knows that you are thinking of him.
Thus, If ever you think of your friend and she/he calls up, do not mistake it as coincidence. It is the power (magnetism) of friendship!
Usually, there is no scope for sorry, till the conditions become really tensed. Reason for this is that friends are so well in co-ordination, that each other's shortcomings like short-temper, stupidity etc. are accepted and well known by the other friend.
A time does come when friends take their friend for granted and utter few sentences which they do not know can hurt the other friend, but, again if the other friend is understanding, she can put herself in her friend's place and analyze the situation.
Also, it happens that the friend who herself has uttered few statements, feel awkward later on and clarifies, again, here, she need not say sorry because she knows that she did not intend to hurt the opposite person, it were only the circumstances which would be straining and misunderstanding can occur.
As far as Thank you is concerned, I feel that every friend does not accept a thank you from her friend, because she feels whatever she is doing, it's for herself. But then, the same person thanks her friend. Quite funny isn't it! I say this out of personal experience or to be specific, personal behavior.
But I feel Thank you should not be so frequent in friendships or else it becomes a formality. Once in a while Thank you is appreciated. More willingly accepted if it is in action and not in words. In the sense, if it is a smile a handshake or a hug!
Sometimes, one of the two friends might be busy in his daily schedule; all of a sudden his friend calls him up and asks for a friendly outing to share his emotions, in simple words, 'talk over' and the one with busy schedule takes out time for his best buddy. At this juncture I would like to give my valuable advice to the person or more appropriately 'friend' who wants to talk over. He must never forget that it is your friendship, which has brought your friend to you, in spite if the busy schedules he had. Never ever by mistake, thank your friend for coming over, this way you might hurt him.
As mentioned before, friendship consists of mutual understanding. Understanding should also be both ways. If your friend is so understanding to give the valuable time of her life then you should be understanding enough to leave her as soon as possible.
Also, it is very important to remember that you can never take your friend for granted. Never expect her to come out to meet you as soon as you call her up. Not always should you expect a confirmatory 'yes'. Expecting an affirmative sentence can always let you down one or the other day.
Thus - Friends can meet just for being together without doing anything.
Also - Never ever take your friend for granted. Understand her problems also, by putting yourself in her place.
In this chapter, I am going to elaborate on "expectations" or to be more appropriately "not expecting". I do not know whether I have any right to discuss this topic on baseline - Not to expect. I feel I have no right to do so because I, myself, expect many things many times! Majority of times my friend comes up to the mark, sometimes she cannot, due to her own problems - one thing I can affirmatively say, across my heart that I do not feel bad about the negative answer though I expect affirmation.
To put forth the hard fact. Even I expect! My friend has many times scolded me for that! I try to change but cannot change myself, or may be I do not try. God know better! As she tells me - Expectations hurt you. If you expect and do not get it you feel hurt! But! If you do not expect and you get it you feel good. Even I have experienced it many times.
This chapter I attribute to that friend of mine who asks me not to expect. I cannot say to you - Do not expect, but at least I can ask you to try doing what my friend says. I cannot ask you to do it because I expect, myself. But I can ask you to listen to her precious advice to us because she never expects! She is contented with what she has. She never expects anything from me, maybe that's the reason why she gets!
Well! I really do not understand as to how should I proceed with this chapter: I would just say - "Try not to expect and I will try to."
Thus - Listen to my friend. Never expect from anyone so that you are happy when you get it!
Because, when I say do not expect an affirmative response for outing from your friend, you will land up going to him personally, without permission. Then you will say, "I did not expect him to come!"
When you come to know that your friend is going somewhere and you ask, "can I come?" A genuine friend, however straightforward he is, will never say no.
This is not fair on your part. You should know it yourself. You should never impose yourself on your friend. Understand that you are being a little unfair with your friend by not letting him be alone or with someone else with whom he wants to be.
Never ask, "Can I come!" This is a statement, which should be avoided in friendship. If you have such a friend who imposes himself on you, be frank enough to say 'no'. Don't accept his company just because you do not want to hurt your friend.
Learn to say no because I feel hypocrisy and formalities are two swords which cut the hands of friends who are holding each-others hand. Again, I mention, friends should be in full co-ordination. There should be mutual understanding and no scope for formalities.
Never ask your friend for outing very often - two real and true friends can stay for long without meeting each other because their friend lives in their heart. If you feel like meeting your friend every now and then, then probably you must be wrong somewhere, your friendship must not be strong enough to stand the distance and time.
It's different that friends can be called up anytime, anywhere but also remember that the depth of friendship is measured by how many times you think of each other and not by how many times you see each other.
Thus - Never impose yourself on your friend.
Never let your friend know that you have sacrificed something for her. I cannot put this in simpler words. Yeah! If you want I can elaborate on this topic giving examples.
If you come across a situation where you have an important schedule and still you manage to go out to meet your friend, you should never let your friend know that you have sacrificed your tight schedule for her.
In chapter Ten, I have given an example of friendly outing in context to the subject of that chapter. I have advised the friend who wants to 'talk over'. In this chapter I want to advice the friend who comes to meet. In that chapter I have also asked the other friend (the one who comes to meet ) that he should be straight-forward and let his friend know of the shortage of time.
Do not misunderstand me when I say, in this chapter, that one should never let her friend know of her sacrifice! If you understand the two things separately and properly, you will realize from your analysis that these two things are different from each other and cannot be linked.
Being straight-forward and telling your friend to finish off is the sign of loyalty towards your friend. Such friendships are never ever burden on any of the friends. There is no formality needed. You give time to your friend and show your understanding; you tell your friend frankly and make her understand you.
As far as sacrifice is concerned, if you come and tell your friend that you have come in spite of your tight schedule indirectly means that you have done him a great favor. That's what your friend will never like.
Your friend is aware of your tight schedule even if he does not thank you for coming. A genuine friend will never thank you. I personally feel that she should not. If you show your sacrifice it means that you want him to thank you, then she will do so and then you will say that there was no need for it. All these statements account to formalities and as I initially said "Formality is like a poison for friendship."
Thus - Never show that you have sacrificed for your friend.
I would like to say few more words! While putting forth my viewpoint I have given an example, which I have given in chapter ten also. This is just an example. You should not let your friend know about your sacrifice in any case. Let it be friendly outing, paying bills or giving away your choice.
Sacrifice exists in friendship! It is an integral part of it. But, it is to be understood by the heart and not to be mentioned in words. When mentioned in words, it becomes formality.
In this chapter I am going to discuss about another aspect of friendship. But, before that I would like to mention that all these chapters i.e. chapter ten onwards are for guiding you to turn your friendship in a lifetime bond!
All these things are minor in true friendships but play an important role in the making of a true friendship!
My intention to write about friendship is not to fill the pages of a book, instead, I intend to convey the message of friendship across to all those who read this. Because I personally feel that friendship alone can manage to make living on this earth, a peaceful experience. It is a sort of peace pact!
In this chapter, I would like to talk over as to how friendship can bring about peace. Well! This may be a little generalization of the topic but still it's important.
Peace is achieved through friendship because two friends never misunderstand each other to the extent that they have a fight. As mentioned earlier, i.e. in chapter four and five' misunderstanding is a minor matter, a transient phase in friendship. If misunderstandings are frequent then you have to recheck your friendship. Your friendship needs servicing of adjustments.
2 friends x n times = population.
Thus - Peace is achieved through true friendship.
Very well said! Whoever has said this, has said probably with experience. The one who gets such kind of friend is surely the luckiest!
Well! I say this because I am the lucky one. As mentioned earlier in chapter seven, sharing is the spice of friendship. The more you share, more intimate is your friendship! This sharing stands true for the good as well as the bad times. I feel if two friends hold their hand through joy and sorrow, they are true friends.
Never should one go for the measure of joy in friendship if he wants to know its reality and depth - always look out for the darker phase and if you find someone standing by you - know that you have got a true friend.
Thus - Check your state of luck, in the dark. If darkness is shared by your friend - know that you are the luckiest!
As friendship consists of sharing, it consists of privacy also. This privacy involves privacy between the two friends and the world. Whatever goes between two friends should never leak out to the world.
As already mentioned, I feel that friendship of the kind I talk about here, can exist between 2 friends.
I repeat the saying, "One should have two friends: one to talk to and another to talk about." This is general kind of friendship. Do not misunderstand me when I say that I do not believe in such friendships. For me, friendship is one-to-one relationship!
If your friend comes and tells you his/her most embarrassing moment, secrets, it is your duty not to share it with someone else if you are in true friendship with that person!
Thus - Friends, before they call themselves as a friend should learn to keep the secrets of their friends.
If you really act according to the words in chapter twelve, if you do not impose yourself on your friend, then you are a friend in the true sense. This saying is meant for you!
If you read this chapter and realize that you are not like this, then I advise you to read chapter twelve again with much concentration.
Now, something about this saying! There are times when friends need to be left alone. They also have their individual life and other responsibilities as an individual than just being your friend.
Thus - My advice to you in this chapter is that you should be a better human first to be a best friend!
Which one is right is to be decided by you. Both the descriptions, which I am going to give, are the two sides of the same coin. So! I feel you can accept both of them.
I will prefer to start with the description, which I believe in! It's not that I do not find other one believing! It's just that, when compared I like this one first!
I feel that a friend in true friendship do not find distance and time an obstacle. He/She can be there to meet a friend and that too on time even if He/She is far away from the friend. When one friend is in need the other one turns out to be a friend indeed (in-deed).
Now, the other side of the coin. Friends in true friendship do not find time and distance a real obstacle. In the sense, they can stay away from each other for a long time and still be together. They do not feel the need to meet regularly to keep their friendship fresh as ever.
Thus - Whatever side it may be, remember it is the same coin and it's not just a coin, it's a treasure!
Nothing in this world is as helpful as a buck up from a friend. Merely a hug helps you to run miles against the storm. Such is the strength of friendship.
This is the most important thing to be told in friendship. Never feel embarrassed to tell your friend that you need a hug, also, never feel shy to do it yourself. Yeah! It's different if your friend is a girl and you are a guy or vice-versa. But, even then you can have your own way to tell your friend that he need not worry, you are with him. Because in this world, a friends support can work wonders! I feel that's why God mad friends! To brace up each other to face the unfairness of existence and get through the rough times.
Thus - If your friend is down or fed up with life give him/her your hand and see the miracle happen!
This is very important proverb to be taken note of by every friend.
It is very essential to treat your friend as 'well' as you treat yourself or may be even more! But that does not account to your friend having an upper hand on youï in best or according to my way in true friendships this feeling does not arise at all.
You learn from your friend and your friend learns from you.
I feel that the friend who keeps an upper hand on his/her friend is not a friend at all.
Even if you are more than the age of your friend, if you are a friend you can also take a slap from your friend, if you can slap him.
Thus - Age is not a distinct feature in friendship. Also, every single thing in true friendships goes parallel. Equal ups and equal downs!
Well! Well!! Well!!! You may make the mistake of taking this proverb as the contradiction of the previous one. But it's not so. You may put forth a question... if in friendships no one holds an upper hand, then where does the question of number one or two arise from?
The proverb actually means to kill off your ego when you, or rather, before you enter the beautiful world of friendship.
I will give you a small example for you to understand better. This is a story, which was there for us in Standard III ( of my time ). I still remember the story, not the context....
The story is about a boy who always comes first in class. He has a friend who is not as intelligent as he is. He teaches his friend. Finally, the friend comes over, he gets the first rank! Now! This boy does not feel jealous but feels proud of his friend. He feels good! Feels good to be number two for his friend!
Thus - I advise you to try the same... it gives you immense pleasure!
Accepting each other with all the shortcomings is the most beautiful and out of the world part of friendship. No other relationship possess this capability. In all the relations, somewhere or the other you tend to dislike your companion for his/her shortcomings.
Best is the friend who accept you with your shortcomings and true and loyal is the friend who tries to correct your mistakes!
You can never go wrong if you have a true friend by your side. Even if you do... you will stand firm to face all the odds...holding your friend's hand!
Thus - Thing that is impossible anywhere else, is the most common in true friendships. BLIND TRUST is what I call it. Accepting your friend with his shortcomings and drawbacks is possible for you... only if you are a TRUE FRIEND.
So! Even Aristotle seems to agree with me! You do not understand what I mean to say? Come on then read chapter two of this book on a precious relationship - FRIENDSHIP!
Basically, why I and now Mr. Aristotle feel so, is probably because we both have our own experiences to add to this quote. You never ever can say anything with full confirmation if you have not experienced it yourself.
At this juncture, you may disagree... but I advise ... close the book now, if you disagree and then close your eyes and concentrate on your personal life. Somewhere, in some corner of your life... you may be behaving in the same manner as I have been stressing. To know what I exactly mean, also read chapter two's second part with deep understanding. Analyze your attitude and my belief.
May I have the kind permission of Mr. Aristotle to say, "Our belief"
Thus - I won't force my ideas on you... you judge yourself and if you agree to what I say, then proceed reading this book!
Well! This is a proverb, which I accept with all my heart and soul. I have also discussed this point in my earlier chapters! Look out yourself! Learn more about that in this chapter. Friendship means sharing. Sharing joy and sorrow. Very well said, "Joy doubles on sharing and sorrow reduces on sharing!"
Luckily, I have got a friend who was, is and will be with me against all odds... but I feel, personally, that it's my duty to see to it that I do not take undue advantage of her feelings for me, I know I have the right to share my problems...but I also need to mention over here that I know that even she has the right to do so. I need to confess over here that sometimes it does happen that overwhelmed by emotions I empty out my feelings in front of her... but then I realize that I am wrong... I am working on it and I feel, soon I will be able to overcome this drawback of mine as I have realized the mistake and realization is the first step of correction! What's the use going round and round on same topic?
Read my earlier chapters with your heart and soul! Chapter Seven deals with this aspect of friendship.
Thus - Know when and where to fence your problems.
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