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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Of Friends and Friendships

Friends are "dime-a-dozen." Anybody can be our friend just as we can be a friend to anybody. For as long as we interact -- and relate -- with people, we will always have friends.

But haven't you noticed that although we do not intend to do so, still, we do not treat everyone of our friends equally. There are those we regard as good friends, or "close friends" and perhaps one or two whom we call, "my best friend." The differentiation just comes naturally without any conscious effort on our part.

What do you think makes our friends distinct from one another so that we deal with each one of them based on our perception of who and what each friend is?

Is there such a thing as "real friend"? If so, what makes a real friend ... and what makes true friendship? Does it come by definition or criteria? What is our yardstick in determining who is who among our friends? Good looks? Intelligence? Personality? Sex? Race? Humor? Influence? Money? Character? 

In the first place, why do we want friends ... and what do we want them for? Is it some basic need that needs to be satisfied? Are we so created that we can't live without friends?

And why is it that friendships could sour in the course of time? Are they not supposed to get better as time passes like wine getting better as it ages? 

Why ... why ... why?

Please bear with me but I think it is not being naive asking such questions. You see, it is not normal that relationships should sour or go bad. There are universal laws that govern human conduct notably the Law of Cause and Effect.

Nothing happens without a cause and every cause has a corresponding effect. Good begets good and the opposite is just as true. There is no way that we can go around that.

Usually, the cause of soured relationship is pride and offense. I don't have to elaborate on this because it is self-explanatory. Besides, I think it is safe to say that everyone, except the toddlers still in diapers, has experienced this fact-of-life enough to understand.

So ... what are we supposed to do if we want to keep our friends for life and our friendship to stay sweet -- and last -- forever?

The Book of Proverbs has the answer:

• Pro 17:17:  "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." 

• Pro 18:24: " A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."

• Pro 22:11:  "He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend."

• Pro 27:9:  "Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel."

• Pro 27:10:  "Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off."

• Pro 27:14:  "He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him."   


Monday, June 14, 2010

"What Is Man?"

Hello again, my friend. Nice to be back with another blog post that ...

... could be appreciated or ...

... ridiculed, sneered at, scoffed at.

No matter. Can't please everyone anyway. 

But you, my friend ... have you ever wondered what you ... or every man, woman, and child for that matter ... are, in the grand scheme of things on this planet -- the only green orb that can sustain life out of the billions and billions of heavenly bodies in the vast limitless universe?

Are there beings out there who can be like us in any way? 

Three or so millennia ago, King David, the man GOD called "a man after my own heart," looked up and beheld God's glorious works in the heavens one beautiful, starry and moonlit night, and pondered: “… what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him?” (Psalm 8:4).

Indeed, who or what are we before God? Puny men that we are, do we matter to Him at all?