This is a much talked-about subject, but I want to address it again due to recent events. These last two months, I have needed friendship in a way that I didn’t think I would. I have seen people offer to help with things I would never have thought to ask for. I have had friends do some incredibly thoughtful and even sweet things (e.g. a friend brought me her favorite stuffed animal from her father during a hospital stay “to keep me company.” That was sweet and unexpected. Another friend dropped what she was doing to come and meet me at the ER, where she stayed until I was sufficiently knocked out 🙂 She later came to help me pack up my place in preparation for an anticipated move. Incredibly thoughtful and kind) Like I said, I saw some of my friends in a whole new light during a time of crisis and great stress.
However, that same adversity showed me a different face on other friends. The details are irrelevant at this point. What IS relevant is this: is it true that we see people’s “true colors” during times of adversity? I know that we hear these phrases all the time but I have always resented them. However, lately I have been forced to look these statements dead in the face. I am still left to question, however, if they are accurate. Is it possible for someone to love you and value your friendship yet still do something awful? Is it possible for someone to mean well but be painfully absent during a crisis? Is it really fair to judge a friendship based on the action or inaction of the other party during a time of crisis. Is it possible to be a good friend yet not that great at handling hard times?
A friend said to me this morning, “Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them.” She got it from a fortune cookie 😀 but it did get me thinking. (I’ve seen this on her e-mail signature before but today, after a long, friendly lecture on what friends can and simply CANNOT do to other friends, especially in crisis. She was right, btw. Friends don’t do friends ‘like that.’ but I digress.) She did get me thinking about that though: is it really true that adversity basically weeds out the wheat from the chaff among your friends? What if someone means well but is just not a good ‘crisis handler?’
While I do not waste precious time contemplating details of wrongs done, I would like to spend it in search of answers to these questions; in search of the truth about friendship, and what it means for those of us who value it oh-so-much. Food for thought…let’s eat! 🙂