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The Need of Deep Friendship Between People

The need of deep friendship between people, is an urgent need, one that has always been with human beings, as far back as historians can reach in their accounts of human life on this planet.

More than two thousand years ago, Aristotle, the Greek philosopher wrote: “What is friendship? A single soul dwelling in two bodies”

In Apocrypha: Ecclesiastes 6:16 we find: “A faithful friend is the medicine of life”. Better than medicine, really. Medicine is for those already ill; friendship is basically for the well to enjoy, a joy to keep them well throughout their lifetime.

Life without friendship is like cereal without milk; there can be no sense of completion. Real friendship is subtle, trusting interrelationship whose worth is too great to be measured.

In the word of America’s first President, George Washington, “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

Another great President, Thomas Jefferson, once compared friendship to wine. Yes like good wine, friendship can give you a lift. Like wine, it lasts. Inclement conditions do not destroy it.

And as Jefferson points out, it is “restorative”; it renews a person wrestling with life’s problems, refreshing him so that, given a good night’s sleep, he can call once again upon his resources to go toward the battle of life.

It is sad that many of us become disappointed in the results of friendship that instead of enriching us they leave us wounded, causing us to think less of others and more of ourselves. We seldom think that perhaps we have been at fault. It usually seems to be the other person.

Friendship is not what we take from others, but what we give to others, not so much in material gifts as the gifts of compassion, sincerity, and understanding. It is instilling courage in someone else. It is the transfer of some of our self-respect to others. It is sharing of our confidence in ourselves with others. It is the gift of what we are to others.

“Good friends help you to find important things when you have lost them…your smile, your hope, and your courage.” ~ Doe Zantamata

We must remember others, meeting them more than half way, giving the best that we are. Only in this way will we be entitled to receive friendship in return.

We must constantly work at repairing our friendship for others. And we must constantly work at repairing our friendship for ourselves. Because to be friendly to others we must be friendly to ourselves. We must always be ready to repair the damage which our failures inflict upon our self-image. We must rise above these failures to maintain our self-respect, which is basic to our respect for others.

“Love yourself first in order to endlessly love others.” ~ Debasish Mridha

Only then our friendship have true value. Only then can it be humble, free of boasting. Only when we respect ourselves can we feel the gift of humility, to others and to ourselves.

If you know the art of friendship, you stay alive. You put a smile of contentment on your self-image. You look forward, not backward. Every day is a new day in which you focus on life. You concentrate on your assets for the new day, refusing to let fear of failure side-track you.

You have foresight. You are a part of human family; you become what you are in relation to others. You expand in your capacity for love in a vast communal sense which incorporate the acceptance of human fallibility. You understand that your neighbour can make errors that distort his perspective; he can mistakenly feel that you are his enemy, not his friend. You forgive.

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” ~ Steve Maraboli

The whole world is looking for friendship. Everyone seeks forgiveness as ardently as he seeks food and shelter. Yet often we are ashamed to forgive as we are ashamed to make mistake, as if it were a terrible weakness to make mistake or forgive. But this shame destroys us, damages us. It is unhealthy to be ashamed of error in yourself and stubborn not to forgive error in someone else.

The capacity to forgive should be as great as the capacity to survive because you cannot attain true stature in living unless you make as much as habit of forgiving as of eating.

To really get alone with people requires the compassion of forgiveness. To err is human loss; to forgive is human achievement. But, first you must forgive yourself so that you can accept yourself as a human being, as somebody with dignity.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr

Self-empowerment

Have you come across a person who is so naturally friendly that when you put him inside a room of strangers, he’ll be friends with almost everyone in no time? We call such a people-person, someone unbelievably nice and charismatic that he can charm anyone into doing anything.

A socially-empowered person achieves so much greatness, basically because of the people that catapult him to success. He earns the trust and all-out support of the people, whom he had helped before. He never runs out of help. He can do anything with the plethora of people behind him. All because he knows he maximizes his social potential!

See, if you know your social skills and you make use of them, you will reach self-empowerment. Self-empowerment is making a general overhaul in your life and turning yourself into a happier and more successful person. If you can be one of those people-persons, then I can’t see any reason why you will not succeed. You just have to know how to start.

  1. Be genuine.

Hypocrisy will just bring you all the way down. Be genuinely nice and interested to people. Once they perceive that you are Mr. Hypocrite with selfish intentions, you might as well say goodbye to self-empowerment.

  1. Be the greatest listener that you can be.

To earn the love and trust of the people, listen to their problems and sympathize with them. Do not just hear them out, listen to them with your heart. Make eye contact when the person talks to you. Listen as if every word matters, and it does. Brownie points when they find out that there is a confidante in you.

  1. Laugh out loud.

I do not mean that you force yourself to laugh for every joke cracked by someone, albeit you do not find it funny at all. This means finding humour in things and not being too darn serious. A person oozing with an awesome sense of humour attracts crowds and eventually, attracts success.

  1. Don’t forget yourself.

In the process of fluttering around like a social butterfly, you might forget yourself, allowing everyone to push you over. Remember, love and value yourself before anyone else. If you deem yourself respectable and worthy of affection, people will flock to you and not trample on you.

  1. Do random acts of kindness.

You don’t have to do a John Rockefeller and blow your savings to charity. Little acts of kindness matters the most, and this can be as simple as giving someone a surprise you-take-care card or helping an elderly cross the street. When we were kindergarten students, kindness was taught to us and greatly practiced. Now is the time to revive the good deeds and this time, let them stay for good.

  1. Contact your old friends.

Sad how some friendships are destined to goodbye, but thanks to technology, you can do something about it. Relive the good old days by flipping your yearbook and look for the great people whom you want to communicate with again. Adding these old friends to your roster of support peers will surely make you feel good all over.

  1. Develop your personality.

Are you grouchy, grumpy and generally morose? Whoa, you can’t go through life with those. Get rid of the bad traits and habits that perpetually hamper your growth. And really, who wants a grouchy friend anyway?

  1. Be confident.

Be able to stride to the other corner of the room and introduce yourself to people with that winning smile of yours. Just remember: be confident, not arrogant.

  1. Practice control.

When angry, don’t snap at anyone. Never throw a tantrum. Stay calm and collected. Be adult enough to take control of situation and transform your anger into something more productive and passive. As soon as people think your anger goes to volcanic proportions easily, they will find it hard to come to you.

  1. Keep nurturing your relationships.

Your relationship with your family, friends and significant others is too precious that you must not neglect it whatever happens. Go out and have fun with them. Do things together. Happiness will never fly from your side as long as the people who matter the most are close to you.

In the end, using people for self-empowerment means becoming a better and more lovable person. It’s a win-win situation: the people know they can turn to you anytime and vice versa.

“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.” — Sheila Murray Bethel