True Friendship: An Eternal Enigma
by Elizabeth Menon
We learn the value of friendship from a very early age. True friendship is unconditional: it is selfless loving and giving. Perhaps we are too busy pursuing our careers that we tend to ignore the most beautiful thing in our lives: love and friendship. Everyone has different ideas about relationships and the approach may differ. It helps one to know that there are 'givers and takers' in this world and a role reversal is quite unlikely. Friends may disappoint you sometimes by not living up to your expectations. One who feels that he or she is putting more into relationships need not feel nobler as others may not feel the same. Before you judge someone it is prudent to consider that he or she may be incapable of love or friendship in the same way. Therefore, it is the interpretation of the measure of love or friendship that is under scrutiny; perhaps the person who realises this has earned the right to be noble.
Human relationship is perhaps an enigma that can make you or break you. The precious bond between mother and baby is the most sacred of all, which starts in the womb; this bonding gradually blossoms into it's various forms. The new life grows within her and it is no surprise that she guards it with her life from that moment. The baby comes into this world crying; announcing to the world its arrival or perhaps a cry of protest for being born. That precious bundle is loved, cuddled and smothered in kisses from the moment of its birth - the 'human relationship machinery' sets its wheels rolling. Parents, relatives and friends engulf the new life with their brand of love and care. Children grow into adults knowing the values of love and understanding or animosity and selfishness. They start seeing the world through their parents' eyes and therefore, the parents have a greater responsibility during the formative years of their children.
People can go through life without having experienced true friendship of any kind. It is probably because of their selfishness or perhaps due to the total contentment within their small world; unfortunately this comfort zone has a tendency to get smaller in later years. Some may even have a tendency to criticise everything and everyone around them feeling happy and self-righteous. It is good to have friends, but it is even better to have a few good friends that one really cares for. As we get older we are more informed of our choices and there is no need to spend our precious time with people who make us tense, irritable and unhappy. One may come across prejudice and jealousy with the wrong type of people. True friendship develops an emotional tie that is strong enough to withstand time and space through thick and thin. It should give you the freedom to share your innermost feelings without having to wonder whether it is going to put a strain on the relationship.
In this age of electronic technology, friendship need not be restricted by distance - correspondence is possible within minutes helping families and friends to stay in touch. The time spent to nurture a relationship is time well spent. Human nature is a blend of many energies and habits attempting to be one. It is likely that some characteristics will become more dominant than others. One needs different kinds of love and attention at various stages of life: but with vision, foresight and understanding one can get through life with a happy smile.