Elevation is what I see as the purpose
of friendship not limitation. Erosion
does not only take place on earth,
but in people’s lives. Friends have
denied them of their nutrients
(i.e their greatness)
-Fola Daniel Adelesi
Apparently some people have had cause to appreciate the people they associate with. They always have their friends in mind and they don’t want to do anything without their friends’ consent or advice.
Some formed the habit of going out in the same attire and at times you would have mistaken them for either twin brothers or sisters before you are told they are just friends. They dine together, play together, work together, learn together and have no secrets withheld from each other.
The most interesting thing you could find out is that these friends are successful in their endeavours. They know when to work and when to relax and one does not do anything at the expense of the other or to the detriment of the other. Elevation is what I see as the purpose of friendship, not limitation. Erosion does not only take place on earth, but in people’s lives. Friends have denied them of their nutrients, that is their greatness.
A critical observation has shown that most of those who failed ended up failing because of their friends. They have friends that dine with them, play with them, collect what they have, but they don’t have friends that can advise them. I feel so bad when I see people who only have club friends and the only thing they do is to zip at the bar, watch people dance almost naked, throw money all around the place and they are no more friends if the friend has nothing to offer.
Sharing in friendship is not a bad thing, but friendship does not focus primarily on the sharing of material things. The best of my friends are not the people who have given me money when I needed money. The friends I respect the most are not the ones who considered it necessary to buy gifts for me. I really appreciate those gifts because some of those gifts have come in at the most appropriate time but I still respect the people who talk to me.
I like the people who share their vision with me because what makes life worth living for me is in knowing what I can do to help somebody. I also spend time talking to people who like to help and people who want to lean how to get help. As far as I am concerned friendship is achieving success together.
What makes me visit somebody over and over again is not because of the money the person has to offer even when I would have to spend some money to get to his or her place. I don’t mind visiting you fives times in a day provided you have five different lessons to teach me each time I visit you. Sharing in friendship should extend to the plight of your friends. The people who share your money should share your problems! If you have a share in my drink you must wait long enough to share my pains or keep a handkerchief for my tears if you don’t know how to cry. I often want to get closer to somebody so that I can add value to the person or if the person wants to add value to me.
You should not protract the problems of your friends neither should your friends protract yours. You don’t even need to talk to someone who is just ready to listen to you! You are not sharing your problems because you seem to be good at winning people’s hearts over, no! The moment you continue like this it makes your problem appear seemingly intractable and paint it like an insurmountable mountain.
Friends should always look at problems from the angle of solution. You ought to be careful so that you don’t make problem magnifiers your friends. It should be people who can direct you appropriately. You need people who can teach you when to take the next step and when to stop for a rethink. If you don’t do this you will only continue to fail. I have often told some of my friends that we shall continue to fail if we don’t learn from those who have failed.
Meet people who can stretch you a little and not people who would always tell you what you want to hear because they are people who would even see something good about your problem. A lot of people die at a spot simply because they needed somebody to advise them and they go ahead to predict what the advisor would say. If there is any difference in the man’s prediction and the counsel of the advisor, they become enemies but they would be friends till ‘thy kingdom come’ if his expectation tallies with the counsel. Why seek a man’s counsel when he must say what you like to hear instead of what you need to hear.
I have been praised and I have been insulted. I feel good when praised but I learn when insulted. I don’t always want to listen to those who want to tell me what I like to hear! I occasionally want to listen to those who can stretch my patience and emotions because they are my true builders. Those who praise me don’t really build me though I get encouraged to move faster if you give me a nod but if you do it always I may be waiting for the nod the day you forget to give it to me.
By implication I may get offended if you don’t give it or I may want to wait till you give it and that will not help in any way. You need to define your friendship. Know the purpose some one is supposed to serve as a friend to you. You do not just keep friends that will tell you that life is full of “ups and downs” as if they are geography teachers. You friends should be people who are ready to tackle your problems not people who would lay unnecessary emphasis on the problems.
The true friend is the friend who is ready to hurt you by telling you the truth, not the one that will hide the truth from you and kill you gently just because he wants you to feel good. You may as well keep feeling good until the hurt explodes. If a friend desists from telling you the truth, the truth will definitely speak for itself and most probably in the way you do not like it.
I read from one of John C. Maxwell’s collection of quotes that, ‘there is plenty of friends, but there is scarcity of friendship.’ In essence there are a lot of people who appear to be friends, but only a few are offering friendship. I don’t think you should still regard that man who is always getting you into debts as a friend. Do you call that guy or that lady that discusses nothing else with you except sex your friend? Oh, you think the guy that settles your bills at the bar is your friend? Wait till the day you break your leg after being drunk before you ask why he has been paying your bills. He is gradually paying you to get your death certificate issued on time! People who are interested in justifying what you regard as a wrong thing should not be your friend because they will eventually change your orientation.
The best of friends should be of like minds. They seldom present distinctly different ideas when they think. If anybody succeeds in changing you orientation, then your focus would be shifted. Once your focus is shifted then impersonation sets in. You become ‘just okay’ in what you should be the best at. You begin to do things because a friend is doing it. People who tread this path end up lamenting because their own original focus has changed. The steps your friends took to make it in life are not prerequisites for your own success stories. Everybody wants to succeed but we have different routes to our success camp.
Lest I forget friends should always appreciate ideas. That they cannot really grab the idea at first should not make them condemn the idea. Request explanation if you don’t understand somebody’s idea instead of just discarding it like that. There are people who have ideas but they don’t know how to present their ideas. Some can present the ideas but they just muddle up everything. Take time in helping them sort out the ideas.
I understand that ideas could be very great but not clear until you start something for people to see. If you allow your ideas to be condemned by friends then you are loosing your chances of success. It doesn’t bug me when people who stand as friends do not appreciate my new ideas. I just tell them that we have different brains and we therefore would think differently, and on several occasions some of these people have come back to value what has been rejected. This vindicates the text that says, “the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”
The reason it is necessary for me to say all that I’m saying is because of the compassion I have on your fingers because some people end up biting their fingers for discarding an idea. A friend has condemned the idea so you think it is not a worthwhile venture. Are your friends for your elevation or your limitations?
What are you doing with a friend that doesn’t help you get better? If you have a reason to measure you success would you ever mention this friend’s name? How come you struggle to get some people to help you and you have another person who only spends your leisure with you. The people who only spend your leisure with you wouldn’t know when it’s time for work so they eat into your work time. This is the implication. When anybody eats into your work time that person has cut your input. When your input reduces then your productivity reduces. What sort of friendship eats into your work and still does not add value to you? What are you doing with a friend who cuts your productivity?
When people don’t make you better they are going to make you worse! They can’t keep you in the middle. If you have such people around you I think you should learn to say hi and let them be.
Let’s have a plan and see these issues together:
– What does my friend discuss when he or she calls?
– Is it an important issue?
– If it is an important issue does it concern me? (It could be important to another person, not you.)
– Is the right thing being discussed at the right time?
– Why is this person a friend? (money, looks, personality)
– What do we do together?
– Are we still where we were when we met?
– How far can we go together or what role does this friend play in my future?
– Would people benefit from us or would be terrified by our synergy?
– Does this friend of yours have a vision?
– What are the plans this friend of yours has in place for the next five years
This is not with the intention to scare everyone away from you but you just can’t afford to dance to the tunes played by everybody. This is more important especially when you realize that the quality of your life is a reflection of the people in your life. I have an idea of what your priority looks like when I have an idea of who your friend is.
You also need to take note of the fact that some of the people you need are watching you. They will never come around you until they are sure that the people you have around you are not the type of people that cut your productivity. If you must be together you must achieve together. You need to out grow that stage in your life when you call somebody a friend simply because you were lonely and you needed somebody around.
You don’t have a business doing around the people who don’t have goals. You are going nowhere with people who don’t have a vision! Where are you going with a man without a direction? What are you going to look like in the next few years having kept the company of people who are not thirsty for success?
I expect that the common denominator in friendship should be a passion to succeed; a vision to achieve; a message to be jointly relayed to the society and a legacy for posterity. Life is like a puzzle where everyone is trying to fit in so you cannot be rolling with the people who would blur the edges that make you fit into the puzzle of life!