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What is a Friend?

I have an acquaintance – not sure if I can call her a friend – who is currently very depressed. She lives in New Zealand. I would like to call her a friend, though I have never met her.

What makes someone a friend? An acquaintance? Is it the physical meeting with that person or is it a meeting of the minds? How does one differentiate between the two?

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and social media have corrupted the word Friendship and turned it into a meaningless term based on Likes and Followers and upvotes from complete strangers.

I trust this person.  I like her very much. She shares my ideals, my beliefs and my goals. But is she my friend?  In these strange times, when we are distanced by miles or other barriers, what does friendship mean?

According to social media, it would seem that it means someone who you can go shopping with and share a breakfast treat with. Share a tweet or a funny selfie. Someone who is on your friends list on facebook.

For me, it would seem, according to modern definitions, I have no friends. I have no facebook, instagram, twitter or similar. The only person I go shopping with is my mother. I do not go shopping with my children because they live too far away and I never have coffee with my friends because, apparently, I do not have any. I guess it is not important that I would not pay $+6 for a coffee and do not particularly like talking about crappy movies and climate change while sipping my decaffeinated coffee or cup of blended juices over a conversation about how horrific men are these days… friends like that? No thank you Sir… or Madam. Or It.

My “ friend “ lives 1200 km from me. Maybe more. I consider her my friend. Why? Because she cares about me and I care about her. According to our dialogue online.

Who are our friends these days?

handshake

I don’t give a bugger about what she ate for breakfast. I don’t give a bugger what she wore last night or bought at a shop or doused her bloody salad with. I just care about her. If she cries in pain, I hear it. If she wants my help, I give it. If she wants to be left alone, I step back. That is what friends do.

This wonderful, beautiful word, this amazing thing called friendship, this word that encompasses so many things … it is being so denigrated and brought down to almost a worthless level.

Like so many words these days, Friendship is being trivialised.

Oh, we hear it in Politics. He is my Friend. She is my Friend. They are my Friends. Bullshit.

I cry Bullshit.

Friends are there for the long term, the hard yards and the tough times. Not the good times. Friends stand by you in bad times.

Friends are the ones that pick up the pieces and give you a hug. Friends are the ones that hang in with you when you need a crutch to lean on. No matter if you have met them or not.

hug

Like I said, I have never met this lady. I do not even know what she looks like. I do not know if she is a woman. I do not know if she is moslem or Christian, agnostic or a worshipper of tomatoes in space. I just know that I like her. I agree with what she writes and says.

Friends  are the ones that trust you, believe in you and care what you stand for, stand by and stand against.And vice versa.

Anyway, my friend is currently depressed. I spoke with my mother and she said  “ is depression the same as fed up? “  I said “ No. Fed up is everyday life. Depression is much worse..

At that that point, Mum said

" That sounds too much like living in New Zealand under Jacinda Ardern. I would prefer to be fed up under John Key. "

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