This I Believe

Kayla - Portland, Oregon
Entered on September 19, 2007

This I Believe

    Friends have always been of the utmost importance to me. Without them I would truly be lost. I believe that my friends are friends for life. Unfortunately many people don’t share that philosophy. Since I started high school I have had several “best friends.” I tend to hold my friends in a higher regard than they hold theirs. I go to great lengths to help out a friend in need, with very little to no gratitude shown for my actions. That never stops me.

    I have never once forgotten my best friends’ birthday. Ever since we met in fourth grade, I gave her a birthday gift and a Christmas gift. For a few years I too received Christmas gifts on a regular basis from her. One year, freshman year, they stopped coming. I continued to drop off birthday and Christmas gifts at her house in Murray Hill every year. This wasn’t because I expected anything in return; I knew there would be no reciprocation. I did it simply because to me, that was what best friends did. Visits became fewer and fewer, until the only meetings that occurred were ones brought by chance. Even if we went months without talking or visiting, I knew there would be two visits that year: Christmas and July ninth.

    Late at nights I would be finishing homework that was due the next day and suddenly receive a phone call. Answering the phone, a constant stream of cries and sobs were on the other end. I would stay on the phone as long as need be to settle the situation. When a friend was in need nothing else mattered. There was no homework, no bed time, no limit to how long it could take. As soon as the problem was resolved, my homework would be no farther along than it had been when the call was answered. Nonetheless, I felt accomplished. I had helped a friend in need.

    As I’ve gone through high school I’ve realized, not everyone is willing to drive across town or even give up sleep for a friend. It’s not about what people will do for you. Your actions may go without notice and without appreciation and reciprocation, but that doesn’t mean that you should quit trying. You shouldn’t need to have ulterior motives for doing something. Actions should be from the heart and free of expectations.

    Maybe someday my friends will adopt the same philosophies on friendship, but even if they don’t, I’m not going anywhere.