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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Doing Hard Things -- Friendship

Here's an essay I wrote for school the other day... I don't know if it'll interest anyone or not, but I figured I'd post it anyway.


Friends are awesome people to be around. They’re always there for you, to encourage you and comfort you. They overlook all your flaws and love you for you. But sometimes friends can make life confusing. People you were once friends with disappear from your life for a while, and when you meet them again later, they’ve changed into a completely different person. People who you were friends with for years suddenly find a flaw in you that they can’t stand. Some people seem like good friends at first, but after a while you just get tired of the drama. It’s hard to understand why people change. Sometimes I don’t understand why my friends do some of the things they do. Sometimes it’s hard to love them after they hurt you, even if it’s nothing major.
It’s hard when one of your friends changes and becomes someone you don’t even recognize. It’s even harder when your other friends no longer accept that person. One of my friends is agnostic, and I’m often stuck in the middle because my other friends don’t get along with him very well. If you don’t choose to tell your friends to stop acting the way they do, the other person will assume you are taking their side. But many times, your friends aren’t too happy if you tell them how to treat others. Most of the time, I just have to step back and make it clear I’m not a part of the argument. Sometimes I’m not even sure which is harder -- trying to decide what to say, or staying completely out of the situation.
Even talking to friends who don’t believe the same thing as me is hard when it’s just one-on-one. I almost have to watch every sentence to make sure I don’t offend them when it comes to certain matters. Some people have questions, but they don’t want to accept the answers. I myself don’t like knowing the truth at times, because I know it’ll be hard to change, but I still try to do what’s right. It’s even harder, though, when the person doesn’t have that desire to do what’s right, or believe completely different things than you do.
Having friends that are caught up in things of this world can be hard. I have a tendency to open mouth at inconvenient times, and it can seem like I’m judging them. Sometimes people would rather do whatever sounds fun instead of what is right. I know I’m just as capable as doing the same things they do, but sometimes I seem condescending.
Sometimes my friends do things that make no sense to me whatsoever. It hurts when you are good friends with someone for years, and then one day you say something you shouldn’t have, and they blow up and decide they don’t want to talk to you for a long time. I’ve had that happen to me once, and it’s pretty painful, especially when you still care for the person. You watch them slowly slip into things that are bad for them, and go through all kinds of troubles, and all you can do is sit and watch it all go down. You can’t give them advice because it seems like you’re trying to be better than them. You can’t comfort them because they don’t want to listen to you. It’s even harder when they’re older than you, because then you have no idea what they have to deal with, and there’s even less reason for them to listen to you. At first, you’re mad at them and don’t care that they aren’t really in your life anymore. But after a while, you start missing them, and wish they’d at least acknowledge you. But honestly, that’s not as bad as realizing they need a good friend. I was kind of selfish for a while, and just wanted to talk to this person. I didn’t notice all the trouble he was going through. But lately I’ve noticed how down he seems sometimes. That’s when things really get hard, because you just want to be there for them, but they won’t let you. That’s when I’m thankful that prayer is so powerful, because it’s the only thing I can do for them.
Every time I have to deal with something hard with friends, it teaches me something.
I’ve learned when to give advice and when to just keep my mouth shut and pray. Sometimes people don’t want to hear what they should or shouldn’t be doing, and many times it isn’t my place to tell them anyway. I nearly lost a friend by saying something hurtful, though at the time I thought I was helping. I have to choose my battles. Sometimes if some friends aren’t being kind to another of my friends, I let them know that I don’t want to hear it. If I a lose a friends because they are being a jerk, then so be it. It’s better to be around people that treat others like they should. But when it’s not worth making a big deal out of the situation, I’ve learned it’s best to not say anything.
I’ve learned to love my friends and be thankful for what I have. I no longer take my friends for granted, and I tell them I love them and care about them. I lost a friend for a while, and we still haven’t completely started talking again, it’s taught me that just because I’m friends with someone, it doesn’t mean they’re always going to be there.
I’ve learned to be a better friend. I’ve learned to forgive people. I’ve seen what prayer can do. I’ve learned what it means to really care for a person, no matter what they may have done to you. Through everything that’s happened in the last few years, I’ve learned how to be a better friend.

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