Friendship is a common word that has been well understood by many in different ways. I define friendship, ideally, as a relationship between two or more persons based on trust, respect, and love. A friend, on the other hand, is defined by a famous Latin proverb as someone who is always presents, supportive, and full of love in whichever condition we are in, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”.
But making friendship, and yet maintaining it, is not easy. I don’t always find an ideal friend, and am not aimed at finding a perfect one either. It is just impossible, as I am not a perfect myself. Until now, if I remember my friends, I know that I have friends for fun only, for one-time only, for some-times only, and for LIFE. They come to my life in different times and conditions. Each and every one of them has her/his own unique way of becoming my friends. And if I go back remembering how I’ve found a friend, I can undoubtedly say that it has something to do with attitude more than it is with identity.
Well, as I have lived outside my home country since 2001, and have experienced making friends in various places. I can argue that attitude is more important than identity for two people to pursue a friendship. People can come from the same country, same religion, and even same tribe language, but they may not be easily become friends. That similar identity, however, can be a starter to make friendship, can arise one’s curiosity to start a conversation but it won’t guarantee that it would lead two people to be friends.
Many of my friendships start from the same universal liking, and/or universal value of norms. Of course, as human being, there are many universal values that we share. I feel so blessed to have friends, and it is even better if throughout the friendship, we can enrich each other’s knowledge, and strengthen our mutual empathy, respect, and understanding. I of course, have started friendships with people from the same cultural, religious or social background too. And the quality and the rhythm of each are different. It all depends on me, on them, on us.
Last but not least, I just want to say that like many other things in life, making friendship is not free. One is supposedly considers to give more than to receive more in a friendship. And it will be even more beautiful if it is mutually benefited to both. We cannot just hope others to be our friends, if we are not trying to be good friends. I think people receive things based on what they give. And it is therefore important to remember that making friends has something to do with attitude. Other factors, such as similar identity, may comes next.
(Riverside, June 20th, 2010)