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Monday, December 31, 2007

The Gift of a Real Friend

It seems harder and harder to find real friends in life - especially in adult life, I think. The ones that you meet - eventually you figured out that they are not sincere or genuine. Or perhaps you find that at most they are very superficial and non-committal to a meaningful friendship. Or maybe I myself as a person have changed a lot without realizing it, and have become more careful when making friends. It takes a great deal of time to build a real friendship but when you have similar interest or thinking in life, you hit off pretty quickly. And it is really nice when you have friends to share similar interest and topics. Nowadays they have friendster, facebook and whatnot - I haven't really explore those yet, but I bet nothing beats a real-world friendship.

Probably I was introduced to the concept of "My Best Friend" when I was a primary school kid. I think the teacher asked us to write a composition on that topic but first I had to figure out who my best friend was. Sure, I had a lot of friends and enemies in the classroom since I was both the class monitor and the bully king(big brother) at the same time. At nine years old, I already have a bunch of kids follow me every I go. I was a natural born leader. But I don't think I needed a best friend.

As I grew older, I noticed some classmates always hang around in groups of 2 or 3. Some even walk in the same manner. One of the popular ways to walk was to let one arm fall to your side, not moving. The other arm will be swinging in rhythm with your feet. Haha, my younger sis did that (oops). Maybe around that time too, I was regularly seen with this other classmate. Looking back, I think my personality was a 180 degree turn from my earlier years - I have become a geek or a nerd. Non-aggressive and quiet - I sometimes think this transformation has to do with me living in Penang for a year (where Hokkien was a foreign dialect to me) and studying in a strict boy's school.

After that boy left for Australia, I met another classmate who helped me a lot to do well in my studies. I became very adept in mathematics and finished every book I could lay my hands on. I was beating other classmates in school exams and was getting stronger by the year. So, mixing with the right friends is as important as picking the right books to read. They can greatly influence your life. I guess for that period of time, he was my best friend - we studied well together, played chess, studied karate and played badminton (he was better). In spite of that, we shared a slightly different philosophy in life.

In my secondary school time, I met a great friend whom I have very many fond memories. It is rare to find the kind of person who can bring so many interesting events in your life. Yet I think it really takes a pure heart to identify one, when you see one. If you start to judge people by the way they dress, you will never find out who the person really is. I think he helped me to see the world in a magical way and that is only limited by your imagination. All good things must come to an end - eventually we parted our ways. So sad...

When I was doing my tertiary level, I still made a lot of friends. It is much easier to make friends in the university than at work, in my experience. They even say that for girls, finding a boyfriend there is more important than studying. On hindsight - it seems to have some truth in it. The friends that I mingled with were those who enjoyed discussions in the subject of physics, religion and life in general. I rarely talked about people or events....mostly ideas - more intellectually stimulating and satisfying, ahahaa. So, here my friends were mostly the academic kind. All talk, no action type. I didn't have to talk about girls because I was already talking to girls. Hahaha.....buaya king.

You will meet many kinds of people whom you call your friends. Some friends will make you laugh, some will encourage you, and some will always be there for you.

I found a nice poem by Collin McCarty that I would like to share with you.

The Gift of a Real Friend

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have,
and one of the best things you can be.
A friend is a living treasure,
and if you have one,
you have one of the most valuable gifts in life.

A friend is the one who will always be beside you,
through all the laughter, and through each and every tear.
A friend is the one thing you can always rely on;
the someone you can always open up to;
the one wonderful person who always believes in you in a way that no one else seems to.
A friend is a sanctuary.
A friend is a smile.

A friend is a hand that is always holding yours,
no matter where you are,
no matter how close or far apart you may be.
A friend is someone who is always there and will always - always - care.
A friend is a feeling of forever in the heart.

A friend is the one door that is always open.
A friend is the one to whom you can give your key.
A friend is one of the nicest things you can have,
and one of the best things you can be.