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  1. 1. Friendship One day, Devin (born to a wealthy American father and a British mother)was zooming around in his Bugatti Veyron car, when he noticed a passerby whoseknee was bleeding profusely. Devin stopped the car abruptly and rushed thecomatose man to Lenox Hill hospital, where he was placed on a gurney to bewheeled to the trauma department. On the advice of the doctors, Devin donated hisblood, and subsequently, the patient underwent a major surgery successfully. Uponthe patient’s arrival from the operation theatre, he was kept in the I.C.U. for a fewhours before being shifted to a lavish private room at the behest of Devin. Thepatient regained consciousness after a couple of hours. His body started to makemovements and he was able to speak. He asked the male nurse (who was wearingnavy trousers and a white tunic with blue epaulets) who had saved him. The nurseanswered “Mr. Devin.” On entering the room, sitting beside the patient and holdinghis hands, Devin asked, “Sir, what’s your good name?” “I am Bryce,” the patientreplied. “So, Mr. Bryce, I am glad to tell you that you will be discharged after 10days,” Devin remarked. He spent entire days at the hospital and arranged for Bryceto receive assistance at night till he was discharged. Devin settled all hospital billsthrough his MasterCard. Devin welcomed Bryce to his house (which had a built-in barbecue, agarden with mature shrubs and pine trees, and balconies and terraces that were wellcovered by awnings), and they enjoyed a sumptuous dinner. After a long chat, bothgot to know each other and became close friends from then on. Though Bryceoffered to repay Devin to show his gratitude (in the form of money), Devin hadthis to say, “Hey dude, just be my friend. It is the greatest form of gratitude youcan offer me.” Man is a social creature. He cannot lead life in ostracism. He needs thecompany of like-minded people to share his ideas; discuss his plans; and laugh,play, and enjoy. There are numerous relationships we share with others, butfriendship, a special bond between people, takes precedence over most types ofrelationships. Friendship is required for a person’s emotional sustenance, or inother words, friendship dispels emotional loneliness. Friendship brings anunimaginable positive energy into your life. Friendships are our invaluable
  2. 2. possessions. That is why Aristotle said, “Without friends no one would choose tolive, though he had all other goods.” Friendship is a human necessity. The television show “Friends” struck achord with its audience as it splendidly illustrated the theme of friendship. Thereare different types of friends such as acquaintances, social friends, work friends,good friends, and best friends. In today’s digital world, it has become easier to create and nurturefriendship, courtesy of email communication, instant messaging, chat rooms, socialnetworking, and SMS. Many people could not agree with me more when I say that a personshould sow seeds of friendship early in order to have lifelong companions. When afriendship is still in its infancy, it is akin to a teeny-weeny tree, but with committedeffort and proper care, the roots of friendship become deeper. It evolves into agigantic tree. Then, irrespective of how unpleasant the weather is, how gusty thewind is, it might buffet the branches but not the tree. When we have a pile oftroubles, friends lend their support either physically or psychologically oremotionally. They are troubleshooters. Believe in long-term friendships. Add numerous years to your friendship.Harvest the gains. Willie (speaking highly about his friend): “I have a great mental tuningwith Alvaro, to the extent that we are one soul living in two bodies. The spark isstill fresh and alive even after decades of our friendship. He has avuncularaffection toward me. He loves me warts and all. He is an extension of my family.He has been my knight in shining armor and a talisman throughout my life. He is asweet person, a teddy bear. Alvaro, you are, in no uncertain terms, a greatdiscovery for me. I am the biggest winner.” Friendliness vs. unfriendliness Deacon and Shamar started an overly ambitious, grand-scale business.Deacon was good-natured and amiable. Showing empathy toward others’ problems
  3. 3. was of paramount importance to him. His life revolved around makingcontributions to the needy (the poorest of the poor). On the other hand, Shamarwas proud as a peacock. He gave a brusque reply (a shabby way of treating others)to anybody and everybody. People described him as a “maverick” and were fed upwith him. Their business was booming like the New York Stock Exchange. However,by an inexplicable twist of fate, after only eight months, the dream run ended astheir business went belly up. They were utterly astounded by the turn of events.Guess who did the people prefer to help? Obviously, the friendly one (Deacon). One cannot make friends if one is rude and full of oneself. Remember, pridecomes before a fall (this is thought to sum up the modern definition of hubris),which means that if you are too confident about yourself, something unfortunatewill happen to show you that you are not as good as you think you are. Fair-weather friend vs. all-weather friend The shelf life of a fair-weather friend is short; An all-weather friend is for a lifetime. A fair-weather friend is only superficially involved in the relationship; An all-weather friend shows 100% allegiance to the relationship. A fair-weather friend pays lip service to your problems; An all-weather friend is instrumental in solving your problems. A fair-weather friend is found in plentiful numbers; An all-weather friend is hard to find, and one is lucky to have him. He is like afour-leaf clover. A fair-weather friend is helpful to a limited extent; An all-weather friend goes out-of-the-way to be helpful (with no stringsattached).
  4. 4. A fair-weather friend is a mere company; An all-weather friend is a meaningful association. A fair-weather friend no longer associates with you after a fall out; An all-weather friend comes right away to sort out your differences, so that anyunhealthiness is resolved right away. A fair-weather friend is obliging as long as he wants to be; An all-weather friend is obliging till death. A fair-weather friend has a vested interest in the relationship; An all-weather friend has unconditional love for you. The sad truth about friendships It is extremely unfortunate that some “happening” friendships just peterout. Even a last-ditch effort cannot save them from sinking. When these thingshappen, it is hard to come to grips with the situation. Here is a list of reasons why some rocking friendships meet with accidents –(1 ) A pronounced change in the attitude of a friend(2 ) Showdowns(3 ) Taking the friendship for granted(4 ) Insufficient devotion of time to the friendship Ginny said, “I moved to a new place. It was far away from where myfriend (Dominic) lived. In addition, I got caught up in my work. Consequently, Ihad virtually no time to be in touch with him. The years rolled by, but we had nocontact. Finally, I realized, our friendship was as good as over.”
  5. 5. Bob remarked, “I couldn’t help thinking of Sam as an erstwhile friendbecause the communication between us was almost nil (even in this cyberspacegeneration) over the years. It is sad to have lost Sam, a real personal loss.” How do you fix a broken friendship? Fights are common in a friendship. However, they should be short-lived.Let us consider the various damage-controlling measures –(1 ) Hold out an olive branch by saying ruefully, “I made a mistake, sorry!”(2) Get together in a calm, private place and have an unvarnished conversationon issues that led to the temporary friction in your friendship. At no point, shouldyou get into a finger-pointing exercise.(3 ) Tell him unequivocally how significant his friendship is to you.(4 ) Shake off the differences once and for all.(5) Do not seek the help of a third person to repair the damage. After all, both ofyou are friends and are capable of solving the differences amicably. Types of toxic friends(1) The competitor: he always makes it a point to dwarf all his rivals in order tostay ahead in the race. He has overweening arrogance. He is in every sense of theword, a braggart.(2) The backstabber: his ostensible purpose is to make friends with you, but hisreal goal is to deceive you. Shucks! He is a kind of pseudo-friend who stabs youfrom behind. However, in due course of time, he will get a dose of his ownmedicine.(3) The double-crosser: he makes you dance to his own tunes. He plays gameswith you.
  6. 6. (4) The user: he does not give you the slightest idea of what is going on in hismind. He makes you fall into the clutches of his guileful moves. There is an aura ofwickedness about him.(5) The (bloodsucking) blackmailer: he creates a mountain of pressure (byadopting unethical and unlawful methods) to get his work done.(6) The promise breaker: he cannot keep his promises. He lets people down.Because of this Achilles heel, his credibility is often doubtful.(7) The fault-finder: he looks for faults in you as if he is in contention for acoveted trophy. He wants to throw you off-balance, which is what he always does. Passing mention: If you have a friend who is annoying, then you had betterlook inside yourself and ask yourself this vital question: “Is it worth continuing myfriendship with this person?” I am sure the voice will answer with a powerful“No.”