We all have different ideas about who a friend is, or who we consider to be a friend. I am sure we also do not go to the dictionary to find it out. Because we all are very sure about what we know.
Oxford Dictionary says a friend is “A person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations”
Webster says a friend is “one attached to another by affection or esteem”
Dictionary.com says a friend is “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.”
Well I have a totally new definition to it “A Friend is someone who will show you the mirror without worrying if you will take offense”
I say that because not everyone has that clarity of thought, courage and goodwill to do it. Most people care not to offend you because they feel if the other person takes offense something happens to the relationship.
A few years back I spoke to a friend of mine from college. We have met once I guess after college in 25+ years, but have regularly been in touch since the Social Media came into being. I called him to just say hi and as we discussed for over an hour and as I was about to keep the phone down, he said he had some observations he wanted to share and he spoke for 5 minutes putting his point and in the process building a mirror for me. He mentioned a few things which were in my mind as well but I had failed to acknowledge leave alone discuss with anyone. You know we all have that place of private feelings that we wish to keep to ourselves.
After his mention we discussed on the same for about 20 more minutes and the whole more a few things became clearer to me. The first was we need to ask some real tough questions to ourself and it is important to push us out of our comfort zone and look at ourselves. That I was till now incapable of it in spite of being aware it.
The conversation could have ended 20 minutes earlier if he had thought that “why bother because I am not going to tell something that is great and why waste a long distance call on something that is not positive”
The conversation could also have ended if I was not ready to acknowledge what he said and put on my “I know best” hat. Both did not happen and that made all the difference. Sometimes to say the truth to someone you need to have that courage and that clarity of thought and here I am happy my friend had that to tell me and give me that mirror I seriously need to look into on a daily basis, till I can see through it completely. There is a Friend Factor that means a lot and it can come from many places you have no idea about. The key is to keep connecting with people and remain connected with them.
Today after almost 7 years since that conversation. I remember again. I have to figure out why. May be I need to call him again