By Nelson Mwangi
You can’t talk about friendship without talking about Proverbs 17:17; a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. This is one of the greatest proverbial wisdom of king Solomon on matters friendship.
A chapter down, Solomon accentuates the indelible importance of true friendship through inking the scriptures in Proverbs 18:24, There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
The question that the above wisdom loaded scriptures begs is: Who is this true friend who loves you at all times and sticks closer than a brother? The primeval English proverb, ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed,’ have crossed my ears times without number since my childhood days. Regardless of how old this proverb is, the truth behind it is a daily reality that can never ever be ignored.
Even though some people will genuinely befriend you, a great number of people befriend you with different ulterior motives and when thier need is met, they disconnect themselves from your friendship lest you need their help in the foreseeable future.
Is it only me who have ‘friends’ who only call when they have a problem that they need me to help them solve? As unfortunate as this is, there’s no shortage of this kind of ‘friends.’ Most people who are in your life in the name of friendship are in to fulfill their ulterior motives.
Friendship is a value addition zone. This means that: Apart from general social interaction, a true friend must add value in your life on matters self-improvement. Hitherto, there’s a misconception that’s ingrained in most people’s minds that friendships are for insolvent adversarials. As a matter of fact, a true friend is the one who constantly implores you to resist your mediocre mindset and challenges you to think big. My arguement aligns well with the African proverb: Great advice transcends gifting.
I am not ignorant that there will be desperate moments when you’ll urgently need material help, all the same, if you attentively hearken to your best friends advice on self-improvement, moments of despair will become a history. Great advice is the greatest moral support that a true friend can accord you.
Unfortunately, most people want to befriend you for material gain rather than advisory. These are the ‘friends’ who tell you what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear lest they hurt your feelings and ruin their opportunities of gaining materially from you. These are opportunists not friends. To their hypocrisy I say: I would rather have one true friend who challenges my probity than ten who appreciates my idiocy. Any friend who tells you what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear dosen’t add any value to your life. These are the ‘friends’ who make you settle in a comfort zone since they can’t challenge your mediocre thoughts.
On the other hand, people who befriend you to sate their ulterior motives are more often than not the very fast people to accuse you of being aloof regardless of your efforts to meet their needs.
Although the saying ‘no man is an island ‘ holds vast truth in it, it doesn’t mean that you’re to be stuck with ‘friends’ who don’t add any value in your life. There’s a role for everyone you encounter in life. Some people will test you, some will use you. Some will love you and others will teach you. All the same, the most important of all are the ones who will bring out the very best in you. These are the people who genuinely love you. Friends who will celebrate your win however smidgen it is and render you a shoulder to lean on during your troubling moments. They will be there for you come rain, storm, snow or sleet without making excuses whatsoever. They will sacrifice their time and resources to first and foremost meet your needs before their own. Friends who will call you not because they need your help but just to check on you.
If you’ve been hanging around a circle of ‘friends’ who have not been adding any value in your life, I dare you to break that camp and afoot in search of new friends who will challenge your thinking and deconstruct your comfort zone. Life is too short to live by chance and too precious to be exposed to ruination.