The Friend Manifesto

Friends are people we tend to take for granted most times, people who are there for us even when we’re not there for them, people who dream when we dream and cry when we cry, people who we don’t deserve but they’re for us anyway.

“They enter and exit our lives like puppets on a miniature stage.”

Friends are chosen by us for various reasons. They enter and exit our lives like puppets on a miniature stage, like hands dipping below the surface and re-emerging with different faces. True friends are hard to come by and can be measured by quality, not quantity. Some people live by the mantra, “the more the better” but this isn’t true. If you have twenty “good” friends, you are spread too thin and you can’t enjoy them for who they really are. But if you have two good friends you can give them the time and energy they need from you.

You see, friends are people with hopes and dreams, just like you. They put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you. They have fears and insecurities, just like you. Never lose track of these things because just like you they need reassurances when things are going wrong. Just like you they need stress relief when it feels like their world is falling apart. They need everything you need and sometimes more. Lean on them but also let them lean on you. It can get old really fast if all they do is listen, listen, listen, and you don’t let them get a word in edgewise. Sure, it was a rough day for you, but maybe it was for them too. Give them a chance to tell you all about it. And don’t just pretend you’re listening. Actually do it…

Because friends are precious, like a jewel in an Ethiop’s ear, or like the engagement ring you gave the lady of your dreams when you were down on one knee, or like the quilt your grandma made for you the year she died. Friends are special because you picked them and they picked you. Unlike family, you can take them or leave them. You can be a fair-weather friend or a friend-for-all-time. You can be the friend everyone wants to have, or you can be the friend everyone gossips about. Never take friendships lightly, like the people who drop their friends the second they get into a relationship. Don’t forget that friendships are relationships too, and true friends will be around much longer than most other relationships you can have. Friendships are the only ships that don’t sink… unless you sabotage them, that is.

Do things for your friends, special things that have meaning. That means you need to know your friends. Know their likes, their dislikes, how they take their tea, whether or not they even like tea. Know and remember your friends’ birthdays, their anniversaries, their bad days and their good. Know how often they need a special time for you to just listen. Take time out of your schedule to include them, to be included by them. Don’t have a million excuses when they set aside time to be with you. Don’t be too exhausted by all that you have to do in this world. Taking time for friends is one of the best opportunities you should never give up, because friend time is fun time. It’s learning time. It’s appreciation time, for you and for them, and who doesn’t need a little more appreciation in their lives. I know I do.

Tell your friends how much they mean to you. That doesn’t make you a sap. It makes you an emotionally available person who shares and cares as much as you love being shared with and cared for. Friends are people who we tend to take for granted most times, so don’t fall into the trap. Call up a friend right now and be there. Most times that’s all they need.

Sam

The Friendship Archive

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3 thoughts on “The Friend Manifesto

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  1. Also, friends don’t let friends stalk alone. I’m currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at Gwynedd-Mercy College. Never thought I would. Have not posted since July, but plan to start again during break. Your journal is enjoyable and thought-provoking.

    1. Ha ha. Ken! Love that comment. Friends never let friends stalk alone. Thanks for the kind words, and for the memories. Can’t wait until you post again!

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