True Friendship

Man in the Iron Mask - True Friendship

True Friendship – True Warrior Ideals

Today we hear people constantly talking about their “friends.” They will tell you how they have so many friends or just how good their friends are and how they would trust them with their life. The word “friend” get thrown around pretty loosely in today’s society. In reality, I don’t think that most people have a good grasp on what that word means.

I find myself disagreeing with Mr. Webster fairly often these days. I disagree with his definition of the word warrior, and I also disagree with his definition of the word friend. These definitions are too simplistic. One of the definitions that Webster’s dictionary give to the word friend is an acquaintance, but I feel that their is a huge difference between the meaning of the two words.

Your acquaintances must fill the empire;
your close friends must be few.
Chinese Proverb

An acquaintance is simply someone who you know or are who you are on friendly terms with, whereas as the term friend has a much deeper meaning. To me a true friend is a very rare person to find today. A friend is someone who will stand by you through thick and thin. When the chips are down, your friend is there with you. When the wolf is at your door, your friend is standing inside the door with you, ready to put his life on the line, side by side with you. He will stand by you right or wrong. When you win the lottery, your friend is sincerely happy for you, just as if he had won it himself. You are getting the picture.

The word friend is common, the fact is rare.

I consider a friend to be much more than an acquaintance. In truth, you are lucky to have one true friend in your life. If you have more than one, you are truly blessed. Realize this and don’t make the mistake of thinking of your acquaintances as your true friends. This is a common mistake that people make, and when their back is against the wall, they are shocked to find that they really didn’t have friends, but only acquaintances, and they can disappear like a dove in a magic show.

He who has many friends has no friends.

The unwise man imagines a smiling face, a friend.
Surprised to find how little support he musters at a meeting.
The Havamal

It takes years to develop a true friendship and to know for sure that you can trust someone completely. Even after years, unless you know for sure that this person is your true friend, you should be careful concerning how much trust you put in this person. You may think that this sounds very cold and distrustful, but what I am writing is true. Don’t be too quick to trust someone as a friend.

If you have one true friend,
you have more than your share comes to.
Thomas Fuller

Rare though true love may be,
true friendship is rarer still.
La Rochefoucauld

The fishes, though deep in the water, may be hooked; the birds, though high in the air, may be shot. But man’s secret thoughts are out of reach. The heavens may be measured, the earth may be surveyed, but the heart of man is not to be known. You never really know what is in someone else’s heart. Most people don’t even take the time to know what is in their own heart.

Take the story of Samson and Delilah for an example. Samson loved Delilah and thought that he could trust her completely. His misguided trust lead to his downfall. Although, I am sure that Samson was a true friend to Delilah, she was never his friend. This is a trap that many warriors walk into because the warrior by nature is a true friend. His character, honor and integrity require him to be sincere and to be there for his friends.

Be your friend’s true friend.
The Havamal

It is sometimes hard to think of others not having the same dedication to friendship that you have, so we let our guard down only to be hurt when we find that our “friend” was no more than a buddy. The sages have taught this fact of human nature for centuries. It has always been this way. History is full of examples that show the treachery of false friends.

Trust in today’s friends as if they might be tomorrow’s enemies.
Baltasar Gracian

Never trust someone with enough information to hurt you. At least not until you have known them for years and years, and they have proven them self to be your true friend though the storms of life. Even then, be careful about what you share. It is always best to keep some things private. Control your desire to share the secret of your power. You never know when someone will sell your friendship for a few pieces of silver.

A man must be watchful and wary as well,
and fearful of trusting a friend.
The Havamal

Strive to make sure that your true friends are men of character, honor, and integrity. Warriors are the best of friends. Because they live by a strict code of ethics, they refuse to let their friends down in their time of need. This would go against their nature and their code. When you have developed a true friendship with a warrior, you have a trusted friend for life, because the warrior is a true friend and a man of his word.

Bohdi Sanders
Warrior Wisdom

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