A Friend in Need is a Friend indeed

What makes a person your friend. Is it the fact that you both would know everything there is to know about the other? Are friendships forged in hardships or moments that you would look back in splendor? What kind of friend are you? Are you the type that keeps on giving even though the people around you do not? Or are you the taker who grasps at everything, ignorant to the feelings of the other? I realized tonight what kind of friend I am (or so I think).

It is important to note that your relationships with everyone you know will not be the same. You may call people whom you have added on social media as “friends”. Those people who you have “known” for years could also be considered as friends. People who you work with and see just due to the environment are called friend by some but what really makes a friend?

In my opinion, I would say it is those who help you when you need it. It doesn’t have to be a huge favor either. People who say yes to those requests (within a certain limit of course; if your friend asked you to jumped out a window, you don’t have to) knowing full well how hard it will impact that persons daily routine or even ones life, those are the people i consider as friends.

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

I guess partly I believe this to be true is because I try to practice it in my life. I would do what it took for the people whom I consider as good friends. Take today for example. I have just spent a whole day (literally 15 hours) helping out my friend lets call him Kenneth, with his assignment. It is not just any assignment like you may think, that contains a lot of posh words and grammatical ingenuity, it is the assignment of coding.

I am currently taking an undergraduate course on Programming. End of my second year is drawing near (only a month left I think, can’t even keep track with all the work) and thus the reason this blog that I had so much hope for had to be left barren for days. Assignments are due left and right, lecturers on break  for months (literally) and here I am, the guy who knew this would happen. And yet still, like everyone else grasping thin air for time that neither me or my colleges and friends have, trying to finish a program that looked too easy to start early but brew a storm so strong it shook the very foundations of our intake.

Lets get back to this guy called Kenneth. I should tell you I am pursuing my degree in a foreign land, where most people do know English, yet choose to speak their native tongue. I tried to hang out with the locals of the country, but every time I would, I couldn’t help but feel left out of the conversation most of the time.  I am not saying everyone is bad, I have met a handful of good people who are wiling to put in the extra effort to communicate with a foreigner. On the flip side, I finally understood how my foreign friends in my home country felt when hanging out with the class. Getting back to the point, this Kenneth guy, though I only started hanging out with him last 6 months or so, he has put in real effort into being real friends with me. He has invited me to his lunch gatherings, ask me to participate in events with him, but most importantly talk to me in conversations so that i would not be left out. He would even sometimes translate what the others are saying so that I can keep up. I knew then and there that this is a friend worth staying friends for.

“Be slow to fall into friendship, but when you are in, continue firm and constant.” – Socrates

Now this assignment that has been handed to us, completely new concepts in programming. Things we have never dealt with such as concurrency, data structures and a new language to boot. I knew this would be a tough one thus i did my own self learning. If anyone who is studying in university is reading this, I cannot recommend you enough on how important self learning is. It has helped me dodge a bullet this semester but my friends are not so lucky.

Kenneth came to me today with some questions about the assignment. In no way is he bad in programming, hell, he even helps a major potion of my class correct their own. But I could sense that even he had fallen to the trap. I took a look at his source code and it was bad. Bad as in 2000 lines of code and I didn’t know what the hell it was bad. I thought to myself in that moment, what kind of friend am I? Should I help Kenneth with his work, possibly taking days to debug and teach the concepts? should I just plea ignorance and spare myself this hardship and let him deal with it himself.

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
Muhammad Ali

Several moments in our friendship passed by as thoughts within millisecond in my mind. He was there for me when I needed a friend. He helped me with my work last semester even if I had not asked. I knew without a doubt that this was a true friend. A true friend who needed my help now. 15 hours later after going throw those 2000+ lines of code multiple times, getting everything fixed and explained, here I am in my bed, at 3 in the morning, reflecting on what I had done.

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