Friendship (HLD 133)

2 Aug 2020

I was told today that it’s Friendship Day. I did of course try to verify this information via my favourite research tool (google), and it did leave me with more questions than answers. Apparently there’s an International Friendship Day that was celebrated on 30 July, but also a Friendship Day celebrated in India among other places on 2 Aug.

We could delve deeper into the question about when exactly we should celebrate our friendships. But I won’t. We’ll just talk friendship.

I’ve been waiting for a while to link together a few thoughts that have been floating around the vacuum that is my brain, and it appears that those thoughts now have a friend to help with this linkage. Well a friendship day, anyway.

What is a friend? Is it a specific person who is special to you? Is it a group of people you identify with and want to support? Is it a large regional group of people (hello Victoria!) that you don’t personally know but are concerned for?

Here are my random unlinked matters that are now being linked under the topic of friendship. Good luck putting it all together.

Random thought #1: Peter Norman. Peter was the Australian athlete who stood with the black athletes doing the black power salute during a medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics. He stood alongside the black athletes likely knowing full well that the fact he wore a badge supporting their salute would be significant in terms of his future athletic career. And it was. In a negative way. But he still told them “I’ll stand with you”.

Random thought #2: Songs about friendship. I heard a lovely rendition the other day by Tim Minchin of the song “Carry you” featured in the tv series “Upright”. The line that spoke to me “I will carry you wherever I go” speaks of relationships that are separate but will always remain intact. It speaks of memories retained and treasured. It speaks of unstinting support.

(Of course, if you’re looking at songs about friendship you could be googling all day, and the ear worms will remain. “You’ve got a friend in me” has been swirling around in my head since I first googled “songs about friendship”. It beat out “You’re my best friend” for my favourite friend song.)

Random thought #3: A stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet. We are very conscious about stranger danger, and rightly so when protecting our loved ones from those who wish them harm. But that stranger may not want to murder you. Odds are they would be just as happy to comment on the weather or where to buy a good coffee. But to be on the safe side, if they’re carrying an axe, you should maybe just offer your coffee advice from a distance.

Random thought #4: Having conversations rather than talking at each other. Assuming our new friend is not an axe murderer, and we have developed a friendship, we may get to know each other well enough to …. gasp…shock….horror…. disagree about something. To me it’s a sign of real friendship if we can agree to disagree. Friends don’t need to have identical religious or political views, or support the same football team. And we could – shock, horror again – discuss these things. Listen to each other’s views, HEAR each other’s views, acknowledge that we don’t agree, and move on to more important matters like coffee and axe murderers.

It’s a fairly fluid link today trying to tie together little thoughts that speak of the various definitions of friendship.

But I’m assuming you are all good enough friends you will agree to disagree where necessary, and put the axe back in the garden shed.

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