“He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need ;
If thou sorrow, he will weep;
If thou wake, he cannot sleep.”
Ever since we took our first steps towards the world, we were encouraged to ‘go out and make friends.’ And, quite instinctively, that’s what we sincerely tried to do. We actively interacted with strangers in environments familiar to us and settled for a few with whom we felt a sense of belonging and acceptance. We would soon end up calling them our friends. But, what exactly is the meaning of this word ‘friend’?
The word friend was derived from an old English word ‘freond’ which means ‘to love’. So, rephrasing what we have been actually told since ages by our elders, we are to ‘go out and learn to love’. How many times in our life have we looked at friendship through this perspective? The Bible says that “a friend loves at all times.” A true friend is someone who shares all our sorrows and joys; one who is motivated by love to stand with us through thick and thin. It would be hard to deny that in the face of various ups and downs of our life, we have found comfort and consolation in knowing that we have a friend to fall back on.
Can we imagine a world where everyone is on their own, living in isolation? India, in 2020, accounted for 17.9% of the suicides worldwide. Studies indicate that 43% of India’s population may be suffering from depression, with a significant proportion within this between 13-17 years old. Many people around us are very lonely and are looking for a friend who is true and faithful, someone to hold them when they are down. Let us be that source of comfort and strength to someone. Let us be a friend, a lover at all times and make this world a better place to live in.