International Day of Friendship (30th July, 2018)

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Friendship is a beautiful bond between two people or more. Interestingly the bible talks a lot about friendship and describes the “sweetness of a friend as coming from earnest counsel". It adds that a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." The bible advise that we should not make friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.' It also notes that gossips break close friends and that 'Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.' Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends." There are examples of good friends in the bible.

Who can we say is a true friend? According to the bible a true friend is one who you’ve chosen carefully, someone you can confide in, sticks with you during hard times, shares similar values. Islam beliefs of true friendships are similar to the Christian ones. According to Islam friendship and companionship are important

  • A good friend is one who accepts your shortcomings, but at the same time guides and supports you. 
  • A good friend is one who will love and forgive you for the sake of God.
  • It is important to choose your friends carefully. 
  • important to keep and maintain the friendship

Interestingly, Buddha also gave advice for different types of people that we meet in life. He was especially interested in the friendships we make. According to Buddha a friend is

A HELPER

  • protecting you when you are vulnerable,
  • you can lean on when you’re afraid,
  • Various tasks providing more what is requested
  • always there to give aid when needed,
  • Asks for little to nothing in return.
  • Always protect you and show you the way when you are lost or need guidance.

SHOULD BE ENDURING  AND CAN BE IDENTIFIED AS ONE WHO

  • tells you his/her secrets
  • guides your secrets
  • does not abandon you during a misfortune
  • is ready to die for you
  • helps when needed
  • asks for nothing in return
  • will always be there for you
  • does not judge

A MENTOR

  • discourages you from doing the wrong thing
  • guides towards good action
  • shows you  good path
  • teaches you through love
  • has kindness, compassion and patience

THE COMPASSIONATE FRIEND

  • not happy in your misfortune
  • happy  in your good fortune,
  • stops others from speaking ill of you
  • Encourage others who praise your good qualities.
  • Always showers you with love, praise and happiness regardless of times.
  • There to hold your hand and support you through everything.
  • Express their love for you through words, actions, and physical touch.

Sikhism has similar views in relation to friendship. Some of the religions sentiments about friendships are that

  • For an enlightened person friend and foe are the same
  • There are false friends who do not go with you for even one step
  • Have a friend who can unite you with God
  • Friendship with a fool never works out right
  • O sinner! No one will be your friend at the end
  • Thieves, adulterous, prostitutes and pimps make friendship with the unrighteous and eat with the unrighteous

For some people making friends is so difficult probably because one is shy or does not have time to meet other people. These are tips that could enhance friendships;

  • Fear is always in the head  in that case one should develop healthy mental ability of meeting new friends
  • Make friendship first with people familiar with you, these people may be acquaintance, groups you can join, your friends and always try to accept invitation to go out
  • Go out there and meet people go to parties, events , volunteer etc
  • Take the first step  move
  • Be open that is ; open minded, do not judge, get to know someone, connect with genuinity, be yourself and always be there

Have a Happy Friendship Day!

Compiled by Grace Sitienei – University of Nairobi website

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