Monday, 11 March 2013

Who Is Your Friend?

Who is a friend? According to the Webster’s Dictionary, a friend is someone on terms of affection and regards for another who is neither a relative nor lover; someone who freely supports.
I paused for a while to think about this definition of the word “friend”. Our men are not so much into this friendship game; women are. How many people can boast of having a friend? Women move all over the place, partying and drinking with friends who are nothing but enemies in disguise.
Why do we have so many friends around us but we still feel empty? Haven’t you noticed that there is someone your heart wants to identify with even in the midst of the multitude of friends? I grew up seeing my mum with friends. I saw them stand by each other through thick and thin. I saw them cover each other’s nakedness. I must say this without holding back; we don’t have friends, not any longer.
Don’t be deceived. That you hang out with a neighbour or colleague and spend a whole day discussing irrelevancies with her does not make her a friend. That you wear aso-ebi (party uniform) with her on weekly basis does not make her a friend. Well, that could be what friendship means to you. Amara sees it differently:
Qualities of a friend
 How many of us can leave our so called friend in the same room with our husband or boyfriend and be relaxed? Why would a “friend” take away her friend’s man? Why would a friend tell lies against you just to destroy your happiness? I see friends stab each other at the back just to have their way and become better. Can you dream aloud before your friend? Can you trust her with your success as well as your failure? They appear trustworthy for a while but just a little fall-out with you; they go about with all kinds of tales against you. Who can find a true friend?

 A true friend sticks closer than a sister. A friend will always hide your nakedness. I know of a lady who believes so much in her friend. They are always in the company of each other. Their husbands are friends. But girl, I was disappointed the day this lady came into my office with another lady. From the moment they entered until they left, it was all negative comments about her darling friend. Few days later, she came in with the same friend she indirectly murdered. After they left, I sat down in thoughts. Then I came to understand
the word in the Holy Bible; Jeremiah 17:9. A woman I know very well took her friend to Ghana where she gave her a man to sleep with. On getting back to Nigeria, she told the friend’s husband how his wife slept with another man. This very woman did this just to get her out of her marriage because of envy.

Believes in you
If that woman is your friend, she will always believe in you. How many of us can dream aloud before a friend? How many of us can have our friend look at us, eyeball to eyeball, and tell us; “girl, you can make it, I believe in you”. Does your friend give up on you when everyone else does? Does she stand by you in genuineness of heart and not for selfish motives? You are the right person to answer these questions and tell us if your friend really has your interest at heart.
Corrects in love
A friend will never talk against you at your back even when you are wrong. She will accept your mistake, apologize on your behalf and then come back to sort it out with you. She can make you feel bad, she can make you cry, but in all sincerity. A friend will never paint words when it comes to you. A friend will criticize you, not of hatred to pull you down or tarnish your image; she will criticize you in all respect and sincerity.
Having seen the few qualities of a true friend, can you now tell yourself how many friends you have? People have always wondered why I am extremely careful when it comes to friends. Some people see it as arrogance, some call it pride; I call it carefulness. People who abandoned you when you are down and come back the moment you get back up again are nothing but wolves waiting to devour you.
The worst thing that can happen to a woman is having friends just because every other person does. I don’t know about you but I have my reasons for friendship. I love everybody but here are my reasons for having friends:
Friends should help each other to grow in life. I love having people who have seen so much in life as friends. I want to learn from them. I want friends that can impact positively in my life. I want friends that will encourage me in my chosen career. I want friends who have their lives as manual for my growth and development.
I have been through some tough times in the few years of my life. I was battered and abandoned to die by life and people; Thank God for wonderful friends. They encouraged me to where I am today. I make mistakes once in a while but my friends always tell me; Get up girl, keep trying. It has always worked.
You need to surround yourself with intelligent people if you must move on in life. I am challenged whenever I think of women, tough women, who have made it in life. I follow their lives, I read their stories and I am encouraged. I want to meet them. I want to have them as friends even when they don’t have a fat bank account. I want to be close to them, follow them closely because I want to get to their level and beyond.
Stop moving from house to house on a daily basis. Stop driving round town with your friends who don’t think of the future. What legacy are you leaving for generations after you? Why would you have friends just for parties, drinking, smoking, and rumour-mongering? Why not get involved with busy minds that have no time for irrelevant issues. Small minds discuss people; great minds discuss issues.
Ladies, you should avoid hanging out with friends who are nothing but partners in evil. So many very close friends are just lesbian partners. What on earth will make a woman develop such strange feelings for a fellow woman? Please stay away from them. You shouldn’t be seen in their company if you are not one of them. Some young girls get into relationships with those old lesbian women just for the goodies involved. Girl, you have the ability to make it to the top. You can get those things and still have your pride.
Friends are to hold your hand so you don’t fall. They should lend you a shoulder to cry on. A friend will never leave you when it’s bad. A friend sticks closer than a brother/sister. Others may lose faith in you but a friend believes in you at all times. Ask the Lord to send you friends and not wolves in sheep’s clothing.
A good friend will never take you to fight your husband’s girlfriend; she will pray with you. A good friend will not tell you things about your husband when she knows your marriage is at stake. She will go on her knees and if possible, fast for you. Who is your friend?
I have been through tough times in life and I thank God He allowed them because I am now a stronger and better person. But you know what, I couldn't have gone through it successfully if I had friends who are enemies in disguise; I have friends who are friends indeed. I am where I am today; I haven’t reached my destination, I am going there and God has raised wonderful friends to encourage me to greater heights. But I will rather live without a friend than have one that adds no value to my life.
I want you to leave friends that add no value to your life-spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, career wise. Take a stock of your life and decide to make a change. We can have women like Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey in this nation. We can have our own Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice. It’s all a matter of determination. We can have women who are not corrupt in power. You can be that woman, but you must change your friends.
The world is getting tougher and you don’t have to go on depending on anybody for survival. Get closer to women like you who have carved out a niche for themselves in their different fields. In doing this, please be careful not to be lured into evil by women who are into drugs, fraud, and high class prostitution but cover up with big shops on high streets. Look before you leap.
By Amara Blessing

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