Friendship is always a sweet responsibility and never an opportunity- Words by Khalil Gibran, Lebanese-American Poet and Writer.
Our friends can be reflections of ourselves.
We see ourselves in them- our struggles, our fears, our burdens, our interests.
But they also reflect the kind of person we wish to be. We see something in our friends that we wished we had, either it be kindness, courage, ruthlessness, determination or talent.
Those are all things that draw us to people.
We learn through our friends. They are the rocks on the bank of the river that is our life. They shape our course, our movement. They divert our path and change our destination.
If the rock is too loose, the river will not yield to it.
And if the river is too strong, the rock will get swept away
Friendships are also like the trees that keep the river bank intact. The trees with roots that hold the soil together so that the river of our life will reach its destination.
Each and every one of these components has a role, a responsibility as such. The river to give sustenance, the rocks to shape and the trees to hold the river in place.
Khalil Gibran said that friendship is a sweet responsibility. A responsibility to work at your friendships, be responsible in the way you treat your confidantes, respect your boundaries and be loyal.
Responsibility implies work. Friendship is work done without complaint.
Just as the river, the rocks and trees coexist, side by side. Without the other, the symbiotic relationship would simply not exist.
Symbiotic. That is what friendship should be.
A give and take responsibility.
How ground breaking is the idea of friendship as a responsibility? Indeed, as a sweet responsibility?
Khalil Gibran wielded words with such power and authority and he manages to remind us of the important facts of life in concise statements.
We forget that friendships are relationships too. They might not be of the physical kind but they are relationships that nurture, that tender, that grow
They are the rocks by the riverside that shape and direct the course of the river. The trees, wonders of nature that feed off the water of the river and keep its bank intact.
Of course, the river can be swept off course by a few wrongly placed rocks, but as long as the trees hold the bank together, the river will always reach its destination.
The river will reach the freedom of the ocean as long as its banks remain intact. It will accomplish its goal in other terms.
Perhaps there is some sense to what I am saying. Or perhaps this is nothing more than the ramblings of a boring day at work. I’ll leave that for you to decide.
In the meantime, I will continue to flail through the river that is life- flail because I cannot swim.
But also unbothered because I have those few trees to hold my bank together.