It was absurd. I didn’t get why she said that to me. If I saw anyone as a friend, it was her because we are church mates and school mates so why would she not be a friend. But there she was accusing me of not being a friend. A week before that incident, I was feeling lonely. It was work, home, book, sleep on repeat. I’ve not been able to change the habit of not getting in touch with friends so I felt bored sometimes. It made me feel I had no friends. The people I consider as friends are all busy and others far away from me. It made me realize I was friendless. So for two to three weeks, all I was thinking about was who a friend is. Who are my friends?
A week afterwards I posted a status saying “Pray for your friends. Everybody’s going through something they don’t talk about”. Then Mr Ato commented, “Who is your friend Akua”. I couldn’t give him an answer because I was also thinking about the same. In fact, I had had a discussion with a colleague at work about how after work on Friday, we totally forget there’s a place called office and “friends” or should I say colleagues till Monday morning. It was like we were friends only from Monday to Friday. Wait from 8 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday. Not the entire five days.
So I went snooping around for who people think a friend is. I found one which said a friend is someone whom you share a deep emotional bond of trust with. Someone who you can call anytime and share your dark secret with. Another said a friend is someone who will just come over with a bottle of wine or beer on a Friday night just to Netflix with. A friend is someone you feel safe with to talk about anything and do anything. These definitions weren’t enough. It didn’t feel complete to me. Yes, there some truth in there but friendship was more or should be more than that I kept telling myself.
I kept on searching and then Mr Ato sent me a video of a man of God preaching and explaining who a friend is. The video starts with the Pastor asking this. Who is your friend? Then he explained it like this. Your friend is someone you are willing to die for, you can do anything for and his or her problem becomes your problem. That was interesting. He went on to give a scenario. He brought a man(Nana Yaw) forward and explained that Nana Yaw came to his house in the middle of the night that he was hungry and he needed bread. He didn’t have bread. However, he went out in the night to find bread for Nana Yaw. He made Nana Yaw’s problem his problem. He could have just said no he didn’t have and go to sleep. But no, he went out of his way to help him. Nana Yaw is his “Friend” per his definition because he made his problems, his problem. Now he goes on to say this, Nana Yaw is his friend but does that mean he is the Nana Yaw’s friend?
Friendship is by choice. People choose who they will make as friends. Yes, I know about friendships that just happened but even with those, you decided to stay friends with the person. Don’t you have people that you just happened to meet but didn’t pursue that course? So I still stand by this, friendship is a decision you make. And because it’s a decision you make, you can only be sure of who your friend is because you choose him or her not who makes you their friend or choose you as a friend. So the question is will Nana Yaw do the same for the Pastor if he went to his house in the night for bread?
That’s what most of us have lost in this puzzle of who a friend is. The fact that you see someone as a friend doesn’t mean you are the persons’ friend or he or she should by default also see you as a friend. So yes you will go all out for someone, making their burden and problems your own. Move heaven and earth for them to make them happy but they won’t raise a finger to help you in your times of need. It’s simple, they are your friends but you are not theirs. Simple Truth!!!
After listening to him I did some thinking. Went through my life to think of people who might choose me as a friend. People who will go out of their way for me. I also did the vice versa. How many people have I genuinely gone out of my way for them? How many people will I be willing to die for? I’m no Jesus I told myself…lol. However, when someone makes you a friend, it’s just nice to make them your friends as well. Let me go further, when people put their lives, careers and families at stake for your sake don’t just brush it off and see it as nothing. When they need your help do your best to be there for them. Sometimes genuinely you can’t be of help to them but make some efforts, no matter how small or insignificant it might look to you or just say a prayer for them. You can’t help but God can. So she was right, she might have chosen me as a friend but my actions towards her showed that I had not chosen her as a friend.
Who is your friend??