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“Friends” do not want you to succeed, was uttered by a woman with much experience in life whom I met. It was an odd thing to say about close “friends”, but then I thought about it and it made sense. There are only a handful of people in life that genuinely want to see me succeed or are sincerely happy for me. The rest want to bring me down, envy me, and do not like to see me achieve my goals, but that raises the question of why even be friends with such people? Well other than the fact that they are the majority, one must recognize and differentiate them as acquaintances. It is a fact of life and they are only subjects merely used to pass one’s own time. It is a sad thought, but now I only see the others as acquaintances. I believe an acquaintance is someone you spend years with but only remember a few petty memories, are good for conversing with when one needs to vent, and are called on the weekend to have some fun. They are fun, but come and go. These acquaintances do not take into account trust in friendships, but only play the game of the survival of the fittest and will do anything to get ahead. With this said, there is nothing wrong in having a good time with acquaintances as long as one doesn’t confide any secrets or believe they will be there when the going gets tough. Tell them only what you wouldn’t mind the world knowing for they are the first to spill secrets and the last to lean on when your down. Do not take heed to the poisonous hatred and envy that they will surely spew about you to others the next day for you will have expected it.

On the other hand, a true friend wants you to succeed from the bottom of their heart. They want to see you persevere and help you when everyone else walks out. They find joy in your happiness, and sadness in your moments of despair. These people are the pillars of self growth and last a lifetime and beyond. I find this comfort in a select few after my immediate family which is much firmer than even the purist of friends. Above all, I find the support to overcome each day by the grace of God, and know that he will shield me from the hatred in the world and convert my anger and frustration into a stronger fermented love. I may sojourn in sorrow for a stab in the back is always a painful experience when the perpetrator is a friend, but I will come out stronger with His presence ever by my side.

In life it is vital to differentiate the two for faltering in perception can cause a lot of pain, anger, and confusion. I look at my acquaintances and think well who cares what they think or say, because it isn’t going to matter a hundred years from now, but when a good hearted friend says something it will remain in my thoughts a hundred years from now. I still love all, and forgive all. Life is just too short, especially to trust an acquaintance.

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