Mohan Thulasingam
Friendship is the best relationship that a person should have to lead a more meaningful life in this world, next only to the Family system. An understanding spouse is the best friend in married life. When elders treat the juniors as friends, peace and happiness are sure to prevail. Many persons boast of a large network of friends, albeit their hollow and formal interactions. Some people think friendship is only for gaining something. Sorry, they have a selfish motive. Such friendships cannot long last and are bound to snap at any moment. People take it for granted, and they expect their friends’ help without any reciprocation. Generally, people make friends with persons of equal status, age and minds. Very rarely, people of unequal status become friends, but such relationship is short-lived.

Quality and Quantity of Friendship determine the level of success and happiness in our life. Quantity refers to the number of friends one has, and the Quality represents the support and contribution made by those friends. The mental and physical capabilities of a person determine the nature of friendship. The studious students make one group while those with a strong physique form another group. In the workplace also, people having the same cadre establish an association. Aged people make their own circle. However, the friendship occurs faster within a gender.
Method to identify a True friend. Time and behavior of a person enable us to determine a good friend. Just by one incident or interaction, never admit one as a friend. The frequency of helps sought, and the reactions thereof, are a sure indicator to assess a good friend. A true relationship consists of mutual trust and help, without expecting anything in return. One step further, a true friend tolerates all the pains in transforming a bad friend into a good personality. Even if the relationship is broken due to the misgivings or the tricks played by extraneous elements, the true friends identify and rectify them towards its restoration. Friends of this sort are few and far between, and they live as Thick pals. Any friendship formed for temporary gains will break away sooner than later. The true friendship always glitters like gold whilst other relationships corrode like iron gradually.
Difference between ‘Relatives’ and ‘Friends.’ Relatives maintain a lot of formalities and expectations from us. Friends never wait for any requests or invitation, but participate and help in times of emergency. Moreover, friends do not mind the status, nationality or religion, and mingle freely and equally. Rarely, a relative behaves like a friend. Generally, good friends can become the relatives, but the good relatives cannot be our friends.
A Chinese proverb says, ‘Even two can sleep on a tamarind leaf if they are true friends.’ The world-renowned Tamil classic Thirukkural states ‘ A good friend hastens to help during difficult times like the hands swiftly moving to prevent the loosening garments.’ East or west, the best friendship bears and beats the life’s hardship. Set an example, as a friend, and then expect others to conduct like that. It is wonderful to be a good friend to even an enemy.

(Author is a Ex-Banker and can be contacted on [email protected])

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September 2021