I’ve been seeing this image floating around Facebook for awhile.
Why is it crap? Because that’s a relationship based on apathy. That true friend doesn’t care about much, yet are able to show love.
There’s a whole lot required of friendship that says we should care.
But, what it boils down to is our definition of love. Many thick tomes have been written about what love is, and Twitter seems just as endless on the advice about love. There’s more advice out there than I think the human mind can process.
So, what I’ve boiled down from all the advice I’ve seen, heard, and read is this:
The love that lasts is the love that has standards and expectations based on the potential a person sees in the one they love. A loved person can feel content with where they are at because they know they are in an active process of betterment and improvement.
Now, turn that back to this charade:
A true friend will care when you’re broke, because they see an opportunity to help, even if it’s just an invitation to to dinner or the humility of accepting help.
A true friend will care when you’re acting neurotic (Yes, I switched words. For my reasoning why, see this post) because they will want to help solve the problem, or will provide tough love and help you see where you’re actually wrong.
A true friend will care what you weigh because there’s enough medical problems as there are in the world and they know they want a friend for as long as possible. They will make sacrifices to pull you from self-destructive behaviors.
A true friend will care if your house is a mess because they know how much a home should be a sanctuary and provide a feeling of safety, security, and peace. This is a way a true friend can help, even if it’s just folding laundry.
A true friend will care what you drive. A true friend will probably be the one sneaking into your driveway when you’re gone to wash it and then later show you how to do an oil change or fix a flat. They’ll offer gas money when they ask for a ride.
A true friend will care about your past because that will empower your friends to protect you from fears that are still raw, pain that is still fresh, and circumstances that require the present and future to be a little unorthodox.
A true friend will care if your family is filled with crazy people because how else will he/she feel welcome if he/she doesn’t become familiar with the family that produced their best friend? If it’s the dangerous kind of crazy, then that’s your discretion, but if it’s something that’s going to endanger someone, then for the love of all things good and true in the world, please know your friend cares about that. If it’s just the eccentricities of life that we call crazy, then why not? Talk about the collection of black santas or the aversion to round doorknobs or the lack of a door on one bedroom.
The world has enough apathy, and enough “true” friends. Let’s starting supporting and being a loving friend. That’s what can change the world.