Friendship in Harmony
As I have spent more and more time on this here mortal coil, I have realized more and more just how much mess there is floating about in society.
From low excuses for “culture”…
…to selfish “me and my clique have ours; screw you” mentality…
…to general apathy…
…to the idea that human bonds and community are something for only the “cool kids” to enjoy, rather than a need and a right of every member of a social species.
This last “trope”, if you will, leads me to the focus of this article: 100% no-bull friendship – what I’m all about, and what I expect from others in my life. This is, of course, in opposition to the common, and utterly wrong, belief about friendship mentioned above.
When I say ‘friendship’, I am talking about people who put in their 100% to make real bonds happen. I’m talking the kind of friendship sung about in Bobby Brown’s song “I’m Your Friend”. The line from the song that goes, “Did you know a true friend sticks closer than a brother?” pretty much sums it up. I’m talking ‘like family’ here. That’s true friendship.
This is written from my point of view towards an example person who hasn’t known much of a struggle in life bond-wise, as a guide to being a quality friend towards someone like yours truly who, indeed, knows the struggle of finding real friends amongst the fakes, the jerks, et cetera quite well… as well as a general guide for friendship outside of the aforementioned situation.
Friendship is a bond of brotherhood/sisterhood between two sapient beings; a commitment to getting to know each other and building a relationship (either in the platonic or non-platonic sense).
No, close friendships can’t happen in an instant or “overnight”, but, indeed, it can start as a promise and a long-term plan – to build a forever bond that gets closer and closer over the long run. Friendship is a promise. One that, no matter how much time may go between hanging out, or even talking, doesn’t get broken.
Friendship is seeing someone like yours truly, and simply choosing to see such a person as a friend. To be a part of the network of real buddies they have fought for in life – as opposed to most people, who never have to truly “fight” for such a thing.
Friendship can, indeed, happen “naturally” (that is, gradually and non-deliberately), but it does not have to be this way. A common misconception is that such a process is the only way that friendships can “blossom”, but, indeed, that’s not true. When two sapient beings commit to, as stated earlier, getting to know each other and building a bond… that is a friendship. After all, not everyone has the privilege or ability to have “natural” friendships in a state of Divergence. With people like these (including yours truly), it simply becomes a matter of having the maturity to say “hey, I’ll be your friend”. Boom – friendship. The start of a great bond–so long as both parties remain serious!
Yes—under ideal circumstances, friendships and bonds do ‘blossom’ over time.
Mine, however, are far from ideal circumstances. I’m a man of Harmony, and as it stands, Earth is in a deep and severe state of Divergence. People who didn’t struggle with this kind of ostracism have them, but since I did struggle (and still am struggling), I do not.
That’s when you move past the belief that bonds always have to take a bunch of time (a classic example of the “appeal to tradition” logical fallacy), and simply resolve to be a friend to someone with the right to a better life, of which a network of quality friends is a cornerstone. Let the bond take its time, but don’t view it as a time to be wishy-washy–commit to building the bond – together.
Friendship is respecting the fact that a suppressive “caste” system does, indeed, exist here in this state of Divergence; when befriending someone affected by this, it’s about understanding the system, understanding that where they have been placed in life is not their fault, but the fault of evil. Understanding that they have a hell of a fight to get out of that placement. Don’t fault them for the fact they are fighting against their suppression; be supportive and there for them instead.
Understand that the life position I have been relegated to is just that—something I have been relegated to. It’s not a case of me “choosing” to be here, or me having some kind of magical ability to simply improve my position by myself, out of whole cloth. Use your brain, THINK, and realize that no one—*no one*—wants to be suppressed. They simply are where they are, because of Divergence. I’m included in that. Don’t “Dr. Phil” me. He doesn’t get it—that’s why he’s such an asshole—but you, as a friend, definitely should.
People have pointed out that I’m really “businesslike” with building bonds, networking, and such. And guess what? They’re right! The fact of the matter is, I have to approach this like a business because I have been *forced* to approach it like a business.
Friendship is supporting your friends’ endeavors, and sticking by your friends’ endeavors through all times, good and bad. It’s not always necessary to be fully involved, to be 100% on like white on rice… but basic support? Definitely!
Real friends support each others’ endeavors. They don’t treat them with indifference and apathy. Period. That means promotion. No, not just one dinky little post. Regular posts, Tweets, et cetera are the thing to do. “Likes”. Being a part. Spreading the word. The only exception are endeavors that go against scientific fact, or that promote shallowness, anti-community mentality, or any other Divergent load of garbage.
It doesn’t matter if, say, your scooter club is “only” you and one friend – don’t say “call me when you get more interest”, say “let’s do this damn thing, buddy!”
Friendship is *not* laughing or finding it funny when a friend is being bullied or is going through mess in life.
Everyone doesn’t have the privilege of “cradle to grave” buddies or “fam”. So don’t “tier” friends. Don’t make new friends, especially new friends who struggle to have bonds in their life, compete with your “besties”. Simply view friends as friends, and all friends like family. Share that family-style with people who don’t have such or are struggling to have such, without putting them on “probation” or “time-release”. Don’t “back burner”.
Friendship is standing up for a friend who has been wronged, regardless of who wronged them. If we’re friends, and I’m wronged, I expect you to be mature enough and have the balls to say something; to stand the hell up. I don’t give the last micron of a miniscule crumb on a fly’s right ass hair about how long you’ve known the other person or who they are. Do the right thing.
When it comes to the haters… have the balls to stand up for and with me. Yes, even if that person is also your friend, or is a romantic partner, family member, or whatever. It’s about not being too pussy-footed to do what’s right. Too many people have this twisted view that it’s okay to ignore someone unjustifiably dumping all on someone else just because of who that ‘someone’ happens to be.
Friendship is not letting the venue affect the bond. Many people view friends they make online as “less than” friendships that originated in the physical realm. That is wrong.
A prerequisite for being able to be a quality friend is being in tune with the facts. Friendship is understanding the facts. Making peace with them. From what science has discovered to be true, to the simple common sense truths like you’ll find here on the Grove website… it’s about respecting them facts, y’all.
Friendship is dedication to the bond; a refusal to ever let the bond “fade” or “expire”. The only reason a friendship “fades” is because of wishy-washy attitudes that think that bonds are “blowing in the wind”; that they’re “disposable”. If, in your view, it is okay to “get tired of” a friendship, then you need to change that mentality, and quickly. True friendship is a promise— one that does not have an expiration date. Even if your friend gets knocked “out of commission” for a while, or y’all don’t talk for a while because of busy stuff or whatever (on either end), it’s not okay to just “quietly drop” someone as a friend.
Now, obviously, it’s simply not physically/chronologically possible to be tight as peas in a pod with every single one of your buddies – the ideal circle for a human is very big – it’s important to remember to maintain bonds despite the periods that may (and will) go by without much (if any) conversation, hanging out, et cetera.
As the saying goes, “True friends are like stars. You may not see them every night, but they are, indeed, there.” Don’t delete one of your “stars” from your contact list just because you haven’t seen them in a while.
Friendship is understanding each other. Each other’s circumstances, background, et cetera… and respecting such. For example, the suppression I’ve faced in life – a real friend understands and accepts and respects the fact a suppressive system, Divergence, exists, and that it’s the suppressed’s duty to fight tooth and nail against it, as well as for people “on the real” to ally themselves with and assist the aforementioned in our resistance.
Friendship is being able to build a bond with another sapient being, with the simple fact you’re both sapient being the bridge that connects.
Friendship is realizing that “clicking” is an invention of those who wish for us to remain divided and in Divergence; for twisted cliques to rule the day; for there to be a ‘designated underclass’ of people who are utterly left out, left lonely and without bonds.
Do you need to hang out with your friend all the time? Do you even need to hang out often? Or even regularly? While those are nice things, that’s not always possible. Life happens, you know. Circumstances diverge. When it comes to me in particular, I am neck-deep in the Struggle of the Harmonious… But don’t let that get in the way of our bond. Getting to know each other, even if that may take longer than normal. Start with that family-style and let’s reinforce it as we go along.
Friendship is putting effort into conversations. It should never fall on any one party to “keep the ball rolling”. Avoid excessive one-word answers and “stoppers” (“that’s cool”, “that sucks”, et cetera without further dialogue are examples of this).
Friendship is realizing that friends with autism and similar conditions try their best, and to respect that. Just because your friend isn’t able to function “normally” (at least as much as “normal” is more than a setting on a washer) doesn’t make them a lazy or a bad person. I’m a perfect example of this.
If there are large cultural gulfs between you and your friend, meet halfway. It doesn’t matter that it may be the other person who initiated the friendship; the other person who is the main “pursuer” of the bond. It’s still not right to fault them for not being like you culture-wise. Build a bridge! Do cultural exchange, cultural sharing. Compromise! Who knows—you may like some aspects of their culture (just as they may like some aspects of yours!).
Friendship is getting, and acting on, the principle of standing up for what’s right, what’s Harmonious. I don’t care if that person who told me that it’s fine that innocent blacks and poor people are getting offed by trigger-happy cops daily is your mother, brother, bestie, or pastor. You ain’t gotta disown them of anything, but at least stand up and *say* something!
Friendship is realizing that nothing is ‘special’ about any walled-garden clique. It’s not okay to be “rollin’” while not giving any thought or action towards those who lack such bonds and family in their lives.
Friendship is about inclusion, inclusion, inclusion. Don’t “forget” about friends. If I am made to feel like a “fifth wheel” around you and yours, then work on yourself to a point to where you’re actually including me.
Friendship is refusing to look down on/abandon someone “in the struggle”, like me, for being angry. “Oh, you seem really angry, so I’m just gonna leave you be.” No–it’s friendship that’s part of *what solves what I’m angry about*! Anger is justified in the face of injustice, of Divergence.
The simple fact is that I am who I am because I have been to hell and back so many times, I have a VIP suite in the hand-basket. That has led me to the Truth. I have a good compass. I respect the facts, rather than ‘thinking’ magically. I am rational. I believe that no one should ever be left behind without reason. I believe in progress and Harmony. Respect that and support that—don’t bash that.
Friendship is realizing that your friends have business to take care of, and to not let the fact your friend may have to tend to business let you think they aren’t taking the friendship seriously. This goes dodecatuple for people like me “in the struggle”. Yeah, I’m busy, but hey – out of necessity, I have a LOT to do. I have a LOT on my plate. Part of this is having to build a network, a “fam”, in a much shorter time period than the vast majority of people have to do such a thing. It would have been nice for it to be that way for me, but it didn’t turn out to be such. So, I’m left with this here way. From the search for real and building of bonds, to this Project, to work, to keeping the house in order and beyond, I have a lot on my agenda. Don’t let that make you think that I don’t wanna be your friend!
It’s commonly claimed that I am a bad friend. I can’t talk very often. I can’t hang out very often with a given individual or small group of individuals. It has to be realized what this struggle is like. You have to realize that I am fighting for and trying to build a life worth living against hella headwinds, and it’s all urgent. This is over twenty years’ worth of stuff that should’ve happened over such a time frame. Most people grow up with the family they need; I didn’t. Most people grow up with the friends they need; I didn’t. Most people grow up with opportunity; I didn’t. We’re gonna have to do things differently. I can’t have things happen “naturally”. I can’t have things happen the usual way, and I can’t operate the normal way. I need serious people who wanna be a positive part of the life of someone who is trying to build family and friends; I need the process to be made as easy as possible.
Friendship is not expecting the other party to carry the entire ‘friendship load’. Put enough effort in to allow conversation to be 100-100 from both sides. Initiate conversation and help it keep going.
You mean that your friend can’t afford to do the kind of things you like to do? The restaurants you like to go to? That’s still no excuse to be a crappy friend. It’s called ‘sharing’ and ‘generosity’–look into it. If you can’t afford to cover for a guest at whatever fancy shit you do, consider the very distinct and likely possibility that you don’t have the financial ‘wiggle room’ to be living like you do.
That said, a friend should also never have to beg/plead you to *ever* notice them. To hang out with them. Additionally, when hanging out, don’t put the onus on any one person to brainstorm things to do.
Friendship means putting in a real effort when it comes to birthday and holiday celebrations. Be involved in your friends’ birthdays–especially those who struggle to have celebrations! Be involved 100%! Hanging out, gifts, activities, et cetera! Even if you’re not local to your friend, there’s still the internet! If both parties are gamers, activities in virtual worlds can be a thing!
There’s a lot more that warrants mentioning, too, but to be honest, it all boils down to, simply, “Be a real friend—not a jerk, nor a fake, nor irrational!”. That’s it. Everything from not advocating things that harm me to being serious about working your own network(s) to find others you may know who are also willing to be a serious friend to someone in need of more real friendship in life.
Now, ask yourself: is what I’ve read on this page so hard? If your answer is still “yes”, then I got two words for ya: kick rocks.