I received this rather odd text message a few weeks back from an acquaintance which I have reproduced exactly as I received it.
“Think about this for a minute. If I happened to show up on your door step crying, would you care? If i called you and asked you to pick me up because something happened would you come? If i had one day left to live my life would you be part of my last day? If i needed a shoulder to cry on would you give me yours? Do you know what the relationship is between your two eyes? They blink together, they move together, they cry together. They see things together and they sleep together, BUT THEY NEVER SEE EACH OTHER... That's what friendship is. Life is lonely without friends. Its world best friend week. Send this to all your really good friends. Even me if i am one of them. See how many you get back. If you get more than 3 you really are a lovable person... Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.... Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.”
I don’t usually reply to such things as I consider them excessively twee but on this occasion felt compelled to write back. In my opinion real friendship is based on actions not words. People might proclaim themselves to be your friends but then fail to be there at times of genuine crisis. The writer admitted that this was indeed true and was gracious enough to declare that I had once shown her an example of true friendship. I cannot say my motives were wholly altruistic. A part of me believes or would like to believe in earthly karma. Heaven knows I have always depended on the kindness of friends to get me through some of the more challenging aspects of my life, whether it be bereavement or being rendered homeless overnight as a result of arson. I have regarded it as a point of honour to reciprocate whenever I can and be quick to acknowledge simple acts of kindness when they arise. As I said in my radio broadcast, it is as important to cultivate friendships as it is to have household insurance. You never quite know when you might need to call upon one or the other in an emergency.