Monday, May 4, 2015

A friend in deed

Many years ago when our daughter was a baby, she had some sleeping issues, in that she wouldn't!
So after months of going it alone, we went to a lovely establishment where desperate parents were taught how to regain control of their lives by helping their children to sleep and thus help themselves to get some sleep as well.

This never happened!

While at the place we met four or five other families experiencing the same problems. Like us, they looked stressed out of the minds and only wanted what was best for their children.

Over the week we were there, we found we were bonding quite well with everyone, it was nice to have some friends who were going through the same thing and who were sharing the seeing of results. It was a mostly uplifting experience.

We exchanged numbers, emails and other contact details. We were going to be mates, it was lovely, they were lovely.

But after a few emails, it began to trickle.

Then the trickle dried up.

Until we received an email from one of them along these lines.

Some friends are long term, some are occasional and some are for moments.

And that was it.

Done.

Now I get the sentiment, even if it sounds a little Goddy, but there's an element of coldness to it.

We served our purpose, now push off.

Thanks for your friendship!
Friendship circles change, people come and go, interests develop in other areas, it's a fact of life.

Just yesterday another circle popped. I didn't see the pin approaching, despite apparently having a role in it being sharpened. I accept the decision, I accept my responsibility, I accept that there's nothing that needs to be done about it.

However, and this is kind of the crux of the matter.

If one's friendship is determined by the other person doing everything you want or expect or thinking the same way as you, that's somewhat conditional.

Of course, we all put conditions on our friendships. You're unlikely to stay friends with someone if they kill a family member for example.

You killed my sister's brother's uncle's nephew! Wait, that's ME!
But there is a certain amount of freedom of expression one should expect from friends.

Difference in opinion - we don't all vote the same, or support the same sports team
Difference in methods - just cos you do something one way, doesn't mean I should
Difference in interests - of course we share common interests, but not everything
Difference in philosophies or ideals - these may be harder to overcome

But I think what is needed, is an element of respect.

I may not agree, but I respect you enough to accept that the circumstances that lead me to think the way I do about something are not actually anything to do with the circumstances that lead you to think the way you do about something.

Being able to discuss the differences or reasons in a civilised manner is part of being a good friend.
And so is accepting them.

That's my opinion anyway.

And for what it's worth, I respect your opinion if it is different, and if that difference means no longer being friends, I guess I respect that as well.

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