This may only be my opinion, but in a world of applications, updating software and social media, the term “Friends,” has become less that what it was. In my opinion, it has lost its value.

The dictionary defines friend as a noun

  1. A person who gives assistance; supporter
  2. A person in good terms; someone who is not hostile
  3. A member of the same party, or religious sect
  4. A person who is affiliated through social networking

As a verb

  1. To add a person through social networking.
  2. To enter into friendly relations with

The word friend means more than that to me. I do not see friends as temporary. If you are my friend now, then you will always be my friend. I can say this because after years of learning the difference between good and bad, I do not give this title away so easily.

I always say, “Do the math,” when talking about the deeds of other people. I say this to see how their behaviors add up, because sometimes, words do not equal action.
I admit that my math has not always added up. I have fallen short on some of my friendships. I admit to wrong decisions and betrayal. I have made mistakes over the years of my life, and from those mistakes, I have lost irretrievable and valuable friendships.

I can’t explain why these things happen or why relationships go bad. I cannot explain divorce or why girlfriends break up with boyfriends. I can’t explain why people grow apart, and I can’t explain why bad friendships sometimes outlast the good ones. But know this; good people do bad things—and in many cases, bad people do good things. In either, the title of friendship varies in the weight of our love and not the merit of our life.

If you are my friend, then you are my friend and I have grown too old and lost too much time, worrying or questioning what is real and who is fake. Instead, I do the math. I look to see if words match the behavior. That’s how I determine my friendships. This is how I determine the difference between an acquaintance and a friend.

I like to keep pieces of memory. For example, I have a sticker given to me by a little boy. I did not know him. I only knew his Autism kept him silent, but his beauty and action was brighter than any word ever spoken by man. I have a key to a hotel room from a vacation I never want to forget. I keep small pieces of paper or shreds of memorabilia like a tangible receipt or proof that real friends do exist. I keep them and I never throw them away because I feel as if these pieces of memory have energy. And that’s what friendship is; energy. Friends are not an icon on your computer screen. They are real and living.

Friendship is the feeling you get when you hear from someone, and suddenly, your day is not as difficult. Friendship is a voice; it is an ongoing action. It is a laugh when you need it most, and a shoulder to cry on when it seems as though no one else is around.

I have never been good with compliments. Perhaps, this stems from my own inaccurate version of myself. It has always been easier for me to see the good in others than it is to see the good in me. But that’s when a good friend come in. A good friend points out your strengths so you never forget them, and when a compliment comes along . . . they remind you to take it.
That’s love . . .

See, the dictionary defines terms in rigid sentences. But life is not rigid and in many cases, our definitions will expand and contract.

There are more than 20 definitions of the word love. Kindness has four. Charity has seven. Generosity has four, and empathy has two.
Compassion has two definitions, and faith has 10.
I see these definitions as branches of different ingredients, which create different kinds of friendships, and in each, social media, applications, and computer software is never mentioned.

Chances are if you are my friend, I have kept a small piece of memorabilia that links me to you. And I refuse to ever throw away these tiny shreds of memory, regardless to how beat up they become or miniscule they may seem to others. I feel this tiny gesture helps keep the energy of our friendship alive . . . and I am not willing to throw that away

I believe that one day, God will call me up to the house and I will have to answer questions I cannot explain. I cannot explain why I lose my temper sometimes, or say mean things, or things I don’t mean. I cannot explain why I’ve hurt those I love and I cannot honestly account for why I have wronged those that deserve better. I cannot explain why I walked away too soon on some occasions, but stayed around in others that were less deserving of my time.
All I can say is I have lived. I have wronged. And I have tried my best to correct myself so that when God does call me to the house, I will have less to answer for.
I do the best I can to stand behind my own math because a man’s math is a man’s word, and what else does a man have if he doesn’t have that?

My friend Spyder once told me, “A man’s word is like his checking account. He makes out a check to whatever amount, and then he signs it. But if there’s nothing in the bank, that check isn’t worth the piece of paper it was printed on.”
The same thing goes for a man’s word. He gives it to you. He signs it. But if there’s nothing behind it, then the promise he made isn’t worth the air he wasted when he gave it to you.

Though I admit I do not have a staggering number; I love my friends. I love that their math always adds up. This is why I never throw those tiny scraps of memorabilia away. It’s because I am not willing to throw away another irretrievable friendship.

Are you?

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