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I’m raising a boy and a girl. Every day I pray that they make friends. Better friends than I have made. And I have the best friends in the world. So that’s a very tough call for God to pull off, but if anyone can do it, it is him.

I’m thinking about my friends as I write this and I’m wondering what makes them so special. What qualities in them make them good friends?

  1. They are deliberate about being good friends

My friends actively work to make our friendship work. It is not a casual ‘que sera sera’ attitude. They call, they send messages, they ask. They offer. They apologise if they cannot be there for me. They do expect me to cut them some slack, but just in case, since I am human, they make room for my humanity. In fact, right now I feel like giving them a call just to say thank you. For today, this post should suffice.

Friends actively work to make the friendship work.

2. They don’t mind being ‘upgraded’ from friend to family.

It looks more like a downgrade, but trust me, it’s meant to be the up kind. Family is the one you tell to get their own food from the pot or their own drink from the fridge. They’re the ones you tell to just go around the back and come in through the kitchen door. The ones that sit on the floor with you and share roadside vendor snacks as you gossip about each other’s lives. That’s family. Ceremony is taken out because it’s just you guys. When we go out we can get formal, but at home, we’re home.

“The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us all to become our best while looking our worst.”

–Marge Kennedy

3. They fight fair

The real friends don’t just go all out on your case, they acknowledge their part in enabling your bad behaviour. They ask what you are going to do about changing your bad situation and ask how they can help. And then they help. However they can. It’s more than money, more than showing off. Sometimes it’s a call, sending a song, a reminder, a joke, a word of encouragement.

Thing is, life becomes easier when you’ve got people who have your back. You need friends. But to have that, you have to be a friend. If you are reading this and thinking, ‘I don’t have friends like this,’ are you a friend like this? Like terms attract. Become this friend and see if you won’t one day have a friend like this.

Life becomes easier when you’ve got people who have your back.

Meanwhile, this is a tribute to all my beautiful friends, if I haven’t said it to you before, I apologise for the oversight. And I say it again, thank you for being with me on my life journey, and I pray we stay friends through this lifetime and the next.