Just What Is a "True Friend"
No matter where we are, 'they' are there . . .
WRITER'S NOTE: (This hub is dedicated to a true friend on HubPages who one day asked me to define 'true friend,' to them.) Kenneth.
If God were to quiz me, "define the term, 'true friend,'" I would have to bow my unimportant head and reply, "Can't." "Please forgive me." Then with what would seem like a slow-motion moment, I'd say, "Besides you?" God might smile. I'd sure hope that He smiled. Laugh. Even be amazed at my fast-attempt to not be sent from His presence in shame for not being able to answer such a simple question.
Okay. Just what is a 'true friend'? For this moment, and those that might follow, I do not have a convincing definition. Now that I think about it, I crave to know the answer. Crave it more than water in the lowest level of Hades. Pretty desperate.
The term, 'true friend,' scares the wits out of me. Shakes my soul to its foundation. Causes tears to well-up in my blurry eyes. I simply cannot find the fit-all, suit-all answer. Now I wish I had attended college back when I had time. And the life to do it. Now I have little of both. Still plagued with the quest of deciphering what is a 'true friend'?
I suppose we all, at one time or the other, have found ourselves hopelessly bound heart-to-heart-to-mind with someone we didn't know that well. Understand that much. Or care to go deeper than their outer shell. That would be our first true friend when we were innocent. Trusting. And just accepting this new person in our lives that were unfolding in the sandbox.
Even at death's summons, we all can hear the clear sounds of us laughing uncontrollably and without barrier, with our newly-found confidant. He or she who has stood by us. Stood up for us. Even stood in our shadow when it was "our" turn to stand in the spotlight. Only a 'true friend' would do such things in a willful attitude. Not an everyday, garden-variety friend or those numerous, faceless acquaintances that come and go. Mostly go through our lives without leaving their names. Not that we would suffocate without them. Those types of friends if I may use that term 'friends,' here.
What is the make-up of a true friend? Like Coca-Cola, that secret must be locked-away in some secret indestructible safe somewhere in our vast universe, for I have never met a person who knew the answer to this question. What a day for Charlie Chan and Stephen Hawking to be out of the public eye. I could sure use their God-given gifts of intelligence and logic.
In this sad event of Chan's and Hawking's absence, I will attempt to give you my version of an answer to what is the make-up of a true friend.
First, a true friend has to be true. All of the time. Round the clock. Round the year. No room for a Judas-influenced friend in my life. Or yours. I just hate to be betrayed by those I call true friends. Actually there in front of your two eyes is a literary paradox: "betrayed by a true friend." Not going to happen. No true friend would betray anyone. Did Tonto ever betray the Lone Ranger? Or did Kato stab The Green Hornet in the back? No. Case closed.
Secondly, a true friend has to be able to accept you and I not just with a few of our character flaws and idiosyncrasies, but all of them. The whole ball of wax. The whole nine yards. I've made my point. And even if our true friend doesn't really how how to accept us with our flaws and hang-ups, they try hard as they can to make sure we see their efforts to "take us as we are." That gesture goes a long way with me.
Thirdly, a true friend will always tell us the truth. And I mean when it's much easier to tell us what we want to hear, they choose the hard way of being honest with us. Even though it means hurting us to open our eyes to a truth we cannot or will not see in ourselves. Or someone else. The task of being a true friend is not cushy. In fact, their job is tough. Very tough. Sometimes a true friend walks alone on the "Lonely Expressway" thanks to us not taking their truth and digesting it. After a few days, and we gain some wisdom at their truth aimed to better us, we invite them from the "Lonely Expressway" back to our lives. And then walk happily toward the next sunset.
Fourthly, and I gave homage to Mark Twain, who penned, "a true friend will give their life for us, but they will not tolerate our childish whimpers, moans and belly aches, for they do not have to put up with it." What Twain was delicately saying was, I think, our childish whimpers and such wasn't included in the "True Friend Package." And why should it?
And number five. A true friend will "go to bat" for us at anytime. Any place. Or allow themselves to be bruised by a bully's bat because "we" were much weaker and smaller to contend with such beasts. And do this without having to sit down with us and hear all of the facts big or small. True friends are just that way. Trusting to a fault.
In the now-nine months I have been a member of HubPages, I have been blessed, yes blessed, not lucked-out. Not fortunate. And not by random, blessed by God with some "true friends." People whom I would trust and do trust with my innermost secrets. Even my life. I am just sorry that I do not have the space to name all of my "true" Hubber friends. And some true friends who work for Hubpages. But I believe that "you know whom you are. And whom I'm referring to."
After all, that's all that matters. "You" knowing.