Do we Really Need Friends?

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One afternoon, I was traveling from Ibadan to Lagos. Everything was serene and silent. Boredom was my partner in the bus. No one to talk, I was alone all by myself. Some minutes after the bus took off, I decided to have a nice time with my Android phone by either playing games or chatting with few friends on social media, you know, the usual.

But unfortunately that day, my phone didn’t have a lot of battery life. To avoid frustration and confusion, I decided to reserve the battery for calling those I intend to meet because “I no wan lost for Lagos.” I needed directions to my destination. The journey was boring because it was far different from my last journey. The last time I traveled, I was on an excursion with friends to Osun state. Everywhere was lively with songs and different kinds of gist.

While enroute, due to the lingering boredom, I felt dizzy in the bus but I refused to sleep. Suddenly, a young man picked his phone and started cursing the caller. I was amazed with the kinds of words he was uttering. Then in annoyance ,the man disconnected the call. Everyone on the bus looked at the man with a strange face , then a voice from the back seat said “Brother shey e wa okay.” The man said he was fine. The voice said again “kilode ti e fi seepe lori phone? (why were you cursing while on the call?)”. He responded with low voice “a female friend betrayed me”. After hearing this, I turned my face to the other side and started laughing. I said to myself, Amaka don disappoint this brother o .

The man told us the whole story. His story touched everyone in the bus. For the sake of not digressing, I shall not be sharing the full story here. However, the man concluded by saying “Some Friends are wicked”. As a philosophy student, I gave that statement a critical thought. I asked myself, are friends truly wicked?.

In the course of thinking, I remembered articles, poems and stories I had read about friendship. After the thought, I concluded that friends are not wicked, but our relationship and approach to them means a lot. Some friendships are just a reflection of who we are.

I said to myself, there is the need to control friendships/relationships and also know the kind of people these relationships are being established with. So, I came up with a philosophical approach which I believe would work for friendship.

Now, let’s begin :-
Merriam Webster dictionary defines a friend as
: a person who you like and enjoy being with
: a person who helps or supports someone or something (such as a cause or charity)

From this definition, there is a need to have friends, because we all need someone to talk to and support us. But most times, we end up making friends with the wrong people and we tend to regret it. In order to avoid this costly mistake, it is important to categorize our friends in separate groups, because this would define the relationship and also give us an idea of the kind of persons our friends are. The groups are as follows

1)Psychological friends
2)Social friends
3)Religious friends
4)Business oriented friends
5)Romantic friends

This categorization makes it easier for us to properly identify our relationship with our so-called ‘Friends’. Also , it would help us keep expectation from this friends in check. For example, I have a friend that is socially upright. He goes to clubs , gives me some orientation about having a more friendly lifestyle. This kind of person might have little or no solutions to my religious questions, because his orientation is highly centered on social life, but that does not mean he or she does not have a religion. When it comes to religious advice, this kind of person might give the wrong counsel and listening to him/her on such matters might be misleading. Same also goes to religious friends, they might give wrong counsel about social life.

I remember a friend that almost stopped me from going to a departmental dinner I had paid for. He said: “Ibrahim, don’t tell me you are going to dinner, because it is a gathering where male and female mixed together and do some irrational things.” In response, I lied to him that I was nominated for an award in my department , he was speechless. Honestly, I believe he had a point, but I know myself and my love for social events, so I had to go. Guided by the popular orientation in Islam that Muslims should lower their gaze and avoid being alone with the opposite sex, I danced a little, ate, drank and left the dinner early. I said to myself ” I sha can’t kill myself, N2000 no be small money “

In essence, we need to be cautious with the kinds of friends we keep, and our expectations from them. If you have a psychological problem, get a friend from psychology department. If you have a religious problem, get a good friend from fellowships or MSSN. If you are weak academically ,get a first class student as a friend. It’s that simple.

A popular saying goes that ” show me your friend and I tell you who you are .” In truth, our friendships are just a reflection of our personality. Therefore, to be an upright person, there is the need have some certain classes of friends. The ones that will come to our aid financially, psychologically, spiritually, mentally, socially and so on. However, having some kinds of friends can be outright dangerous, especially when we find it difficult to classify them. Some might intentionally want to hurt us or teach us a lesson. So, be careful, don’t get carried away.

Another thing we also need to understand about friendships is that no one is a perfect fit. The people we keep as friends also have their flaws and shortcomings, but they also most definitely have their good parts too. If their good traits supersede their flaws, then we should keep them, else we should move on with our lives, without them.

Finally, in friendship, “there is always a I in us and we in you.” That is humans are interconnected to help each other on daily basis. Friends are like organs of the human body, they are a part of our existence. The heart is an essential organ, don’t break it. The brain is important don’t leave it idle, same goes to all organs of the body. Keep them in good condition and they shall add to your wellness. Check on your friends and appreciate their essence in your life. Call them , buy them gifts and maintain a good relationship with them. Friendship is an obvious fact, it will either prove itself right or wrong always.

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