Friends. Just like the word ‘love’, this is a word we are too quick to use. Once we talk to somebody more than once, they have automatically become your friend. Like we scrutinize the teacher whose class we are taking next semester harder than we scrutinize those that we call our friends. It makes you wonder, ‘What is our criteria of friendship?’
So last year, I had these people who I hung out with regularly. They mostly talked to me out of convenience because I had what they needed. We were in the same class,and it was easy for us to study together. I started to think that we were friends. Nigerians don’t really keep separate relationships. Someone who you have classes almost everyday with, do homework with, and lament about your teacher with, is bound to be your ‘friend.’ I was wrong. I realized that the people around me(mostly Americans) were really good at keeping separate relationships. You could work a whole year with someone, and never truly know anything about their lives.
As a result, I had to develop tactics on how to weed people out of my lives.
- People I do not feel comfortable around: If you get to know me better(if you keep reading my blog, you definitely will), you will know that I can be loud sometimes. If I cannot be loud around you, then you are definitely an acquaintance. Your place in my life is extremely temporary, and you are only bidding time before the universe brings in someone else to take your position.
- If I cannot have an intelligent conversation with you: When the only thing we ever talk about is turn up, then you are a mere acquaintance. Time waits for no one, and turn up is not the end all and be all.Once in a while, we should all practice some self-care and have some fun, but if your purpose in college is to party all day and night, I can only wave at you from the other side of campus.
- People who smoke cigarettes: I can’t stand the smell and what it does to your body. Ever since I found out that secondhand smoking is more dangerous than firsthand smoking, I avoid smokers like a plague. If you want to kill yourself go ahead, but you cannot add me join. If we ever happen to be friends, then you have to quit because I can’t hang out with you.
- If we cannot argue on some fundamental basics: I cannot be friends with someone who does not believe in equality of the sexes. IMPOSSICANT!!! That friendship is already doomed. Where do we even want to start from?
‘Friend’ should not be a word that we throw around anyhow. Guard your heart, and be watchful of the people you let close to it. Always keep people who support you and believe in your dreams. Keep people who you can be real with. I mean, if you have to pretend around a ‘friend,’ that person has to go. Be watchful, be mindful, and make sure that you invite God in all your decisions.
Lastly, be the friend that you want others to be to you. You can’t say that you want a friend who will defend you, and yet you are the first person to sell others out. The end goal is to be able to have free-flowing trade of ideas, joy, laughter, and sadness. You can’t just receiving all the time,(are you greedy?) you have to give as well. Remember no one wants to be friends with someone who they cannot gain from, even if it is a shoulder to cry on.
Proverbs 18:24-‘One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.’