I believe true friendship never dies. I believe once the bond of friendship has been strongly established, it can withstand innumerable difficulties. I believe if two people come to care about each other in a selfless and genuine way, then they can look past misunderstandings and annoyances to see the best in the other person. I believe that true friendship never dies not only because I want it to be true, but also because I have been fortunate enough to experience it.
Friendship may be one of the most commonly discussed topics. Authors, philosophers, and historical figures have said much on the subject. Saint Jerome said, “The friendship that can cease has never been real.” I think he means that the acquaintances that come and go in our lives, do not qualify as true friends. George Washington said, “True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.” I have known my closest friends more than ten years. These friendships are a testament to Washington’s sentiment. We have endured “shocks of adversity” in several forms. Halfway through second grade, one of my best friends moved to another town, and in the third grade I began homeschooling. While I still tried to see my friends from school, my gymnastics schedule did not leave me a lot of free time. The summer after my fourth grade year, my family moved to North Carolina for two years. My friends and I exchanged birthday cards and phone calls, but we were obviously unable to share life experiences on a daily basis. During these years, geography and my lack of free time were obstacles to my friendships.
When we moved back to San Antonio the summer before seventh grade, my friends and I reconnected, but encountered difficulties of a different type. Disagreements based on jealousies, competitiveness, perceived disloyalties, boys, and other issues, ranging in significance from utterly ridiculous to seriously legitimate, have challenged our ties. At different times, all of us sustained “silent treatments” lasting days and even months, before we found our way to forgive and understand (or at least forgive). Our commitment to friendship enabled us to survive these challenges.
Oscar Wilde’s thoughts pertaining to the types of problems I have experienced with my friends have been an encouragement. “Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.” This quote makes me laugh when I recall some of the less flattering episodes in my friendships. He also said, “A true friend stabs you in the front.” As my four best girl-friends and I have matured, we have learned the value of confronting each other rather than gossiping or reacting in anger. I feel certain that I will always be able to call these people my friends even though I know there might be rocky roads in front of us. As we take different paths in life, it is with more than merely hope that I claim the belief that our true friendship will never die.
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