Friendship is like clothes. Good ones make you look great and gorgeous. A bad combination gives you an awful appearance. — Elegbede M.D

I’ve started my life with the simplest view of friendship. So long we have had the opportunity to run after grasshoppers on the field or mould houses out of clay, you were qualified to be called my friend.Examining the life of an innocent young boy whose immediate challenge was catching fun, you can’t expect any less. The funniest, looking back is when I’m asked what I’d like to be when I grew up; without hesitation, I’d answer, I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR. The way my father patted my head now appears like he was actually indulging my childhood fantasy.
Now I know more; being a Doctor, judging by my experience in OAU, is a BIG-DEAL simply put.

My best friends, you wouldn’t believe, where the few ones who always had things I don’t readily have or have at all and are more than willing to share with me.
To make my list of enemies was as simple; when I beg you for something, don’t give me, you are my enemy, end of story. My worst set of enemies were these creepy ones who would stand by me to enjoy all I can offer, from playing my video games,(don’t ask me, I had them for real), to meddling with my toys and sharing my snacks only to disappear into thin air when they have theirs. Oh my God, if I could turn back the hand of time and be a small boy again, I still would dislike this people. The reason for this is that, this particular principle grew with me and I somehow kind of believe people with such tendencies should be kept far from me, as far as I can imagine.

Another funny thing about friendship back then was the endless list of friends I kept and the ease of moving from friend to enemy. I kept making new friends almost on per event basis. The rules were very fragile, so, more people became enemies after a very short tenure of friendship.

What has changed?

As I grew into adulthood with more experience and realistic goals to be pursued, I began to learn more about friendship. As a student of real life experience, I first understood that the true definition of friendship, by far exceeds the ease of calling someone a friend.

Second, whoever I call my friend, may not necessarily see me as close to him as I feel he is to me.

These two principles formed basis for other silent ones that have today made me who I am and how I choose my friend.

For all I care, friendship is more sacred than family ties, a very strong reason why I believe in fraternities (not the types practiced in our tertiary institutions). My blood relations’ choice to love and cater for me is ordained naturally and whoever falls short can only be said to be irresponsible! A friend on the other hand, is coming from a different background and ideology, no blood link nor particular
association beyond unwritten oath of love, loyalty, care and duty. Irrespective of whom I am, my religion, colour or economic status, He calls me friend. This analogy probably explains why you pick friends even within your family members; friendship and blood ties are mutually exclusive.

I feel more shock when a friend hurts me than a family member. For friends, betrayal could carry grave consequences. Even at that, the best time you define true friendship is in the time of crisis.

Every of our utterances, actions and moves when we quarrel with people we call true friends are modified by the good times we have spent together before things went sour. No true friend would wish me death even in bad times. The irony however is that, my best friend in very extreme irredeemable situations may grow into my worst enemy. This is one situation I dread so much, although I have experienced few.

So as not to sound like you need to fill a form to be my friend, I have adopted a slang to define people we share some relative closeness, they are my ‘Guys’. Yeah, we do stuffs together and hang out once in a while. I might not be able to stand in for them or vouch for them; just as I might not feel their absence when we lose contact. As a matter of fact, I would never expect that much from them either! They are only there to serve immediate purposes of association, something I truthfully respect while it lasts.

Sometimes, I look at some of these people I call my friends and ask myself whether I truly deserve them around me. This is not a question of low self esteem but genuine self examination. They give to me more than I can ever give back and when I try to limit their gestures, they appear not to have done anything at all.

The people I call my friends, have helped me discover more about myself and offered me platforms to express myself. They have spoken for me where I haven’t been to and stood in for me at different instances. To be frank, I at times feel, I’ve been over-rated.

Each time I pray to God, I mention my friends and God knows who and who I’m referring to, irrespective of their religion. I miss them when we are far apart and try to catch up via mails or calls. When I miss their functions, I feel awkward and try to make up.

I hold my friends in high esteem and have a great deal of respect for them. I really don’t have written criteria for choosing my friends but I think I have been fairly consistent with reasons I have for making whom I wish my friend.

One of my strong points with keeping friends is that I don’t expect to get as much loyalty as I give just as I know I’m not giving back to some of them. Yet, they call me Friend.

If after this, you still think I’m your friend, this is for you:

Having you in my life is ordained by boundless love and it is important to me. Everything you have added to me has significantly contributed to whatever I’m today and I’m grateful. Whatever it is I am able to give back is a mere representation of how much I wish I could do and I hope you appreciate them.

For every action of mine that you consider inappropriate, please take them as my little mistakes and be assured I’m willing and working hard to be a better person.

If you are my friend or I’ve called you my friend, this is a faint picture of what you truly mean to me. There’s always more to friendship.

As long as you are my friend, FOR YOU, I WILL.

This goes out to all my friends, with love.

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