Strange surreal times, a dystopian universe.
Or maybe just a persistent nightmare?
I want to wake up.
I am losing friends.
Friends? I wonder.
Are they friends?
Whom do we consider friends? Real friends?
What are friends? We consider many people we know as friends.
We all want to have friends. Why?
We are social animals, we have the need to be surrounded by others.
To talk, to share, to spend time together.
We need support and understanding, security being with somebody we share our worldview.
We feel at ease, knowing a friend will understand.
Mutual respect and understanding, that's it.
Even in disagreement.
I do not want to be careful, to avoid some topics, to lie.
That is how we talk to everybody else, those not our friends.
I want to enjoy my friend's company, to relax, to let my guard down, not to try being somebody I am not.
Yes, we may disagree, we may argue, let our voices rise.
It will be boring otherwise, won't it? If we agree on everything?
But there are actions, behaviors and words that are indefensible, immoral.
There are views that cannot be supported by a decent person,
By people I call my friends.
This man that the country elected to be the President of the United States.
He spewed lies, deception, hate and bigotry. This man incited violence and intolerance.
During his campaign he spoke to the lowest common denominator, awaking all that is evil in humans.
A leader of the free world?
Some of my friends are supporting this evil man. They voted for him.
Friends? Are we friends? Is there something I do not know about them?
“Avoid talking politics with them”, I have been told.
During these difficult times am I supposed to avoid discussing my fears, to not share my thoughts?
Talk about “safe” things like the weather, the kids.....What are the “safe” subjects with people we call friends?
Maybe that is what is needed to see who our friends really are?
Crises, difficult and troubling times, tragedy.
But I do know these people. People who voted for Trump.
They would help me if the need arose, they have good families, they are nice people.
And yet they elected this psychopath to be our Commander in Chief!
These seemingly decent people just disregarded all the norms of decency and trusted this man with the Presidency.
They put the future of our country in the hands of a narcissistic egomaniac.
What happened to them?
Was I wrong to call them friends?
It is so sad, so hard to be disappointed in people I respected.
I am losing friends.
I think of the successes and the failures.
I think of times good and bad.
I think of events I remember and events I have forgotten.
People I have met.
Some became friends.
Some vanished from my life, my memories.
I think of friendships.
People I call friends.
Who are my real friends?
What is the meaning of the words “real friend”?
I am 65. And I don't want to quote smart and famous people about friendship.
Aren't we supposed to know who our friends are--without checking for a Wikipedia definition?
Do I have friends? Real friends?
People whose company I enjoy.
We can be ourselves with each other.
We argue, we disagree, we talk or stay silent.
We feel a special connection.
A feeling of being secure.
Even when we are separated by oceans, deep inside we know the connection is not broken.
A friend is somebody who listens and understands.
But it works both ways.
Am I a real friend?
Am I a real friend to somebody I consider a friend.
Am I a real friend?
It may not be easy sometimes.
But it is so important to be real friends with somebody.
To have a friend.
To be a friend.
We all want friendship.
But how often do we ask ourselves, “Am I a real friend”?
Can anyone honestly answer?
We judge others, blaming them for what they do or do not do.
Do we apply the same judgment to ourselves?
I cannot tell you who your real friends are.
I don't have answers for you.
We have to find the answer to this eternal question by ourselves.
And maybe the answer should begin with a question: Am I a real friend?
Friendship is a wonderful thing.
Cherish it, my friends.