OPINION: Turning Tables

This I share to you to plot what has become of our social relationship today.

Muhammad Ali once said, “Friendship . . . is something you don’t learn at school.” While, Elbert Hubbard quoted, “a friend is one who knows you and love you just the same.” There have been many definitions and descriptions and interpretations about the word friend or the state between known as friendship. They talked of how it sprung like a rose during a fine winter’s day; they pictured it as magical and thrilling and exciting and all the positive adjectives in the dictionary.

No one talked about friendship as something treacherous and dangerous.

Recently, I have plunged myself into an entanglement I never saw coming. I saw the signs but I didn’t adhere with the omens. I took a blink and then I found myself staring at the eye of the tiger at a long hallway. But I couldn’t regret the decision I made which brought me face to face with the demons.

To be honest, I never considered any of my college friends as real friends. I categorize them as . . . mere acquaintances and no more than that. Until recently. I now know who my friends really are.

In my four years in the university, I learned that you will never make friends there. College is a jungle of wild beasts; they make pacts of union with one another but never forgetting that they do this to protect their interests and they will go a long way just to protect it . . . breaking the pact included. They are more than ready to stab you at your back the moment you dance with another.

Some friends are just accessories for learning. They’ll be good to you when the waters are calm, but otherwise once there’s a storm. Some friends are disposable, replaceable even. Some are blessings, some are curses. Whichever the case, REAL friends are hard to come by nowadays.

The entanglement I am afaced with right now is something that solidified my views.

Our social relationship today is like a web. We bond together, tying knots thinking it will stay there forever. But nothing last forever and nothing stays the same and we are too blind to see that because in the surface, the bond is strong and firm. And so we continue to make more bonds. The new bonds are just as thrilling and exciting like the last.

But time is an agent of change and a tricky agent too. Just as when you think the bond will withstand nature’s whims, it didn’t. And it will not.

Our so-called friendship today is similar to that on Facebook. On Facebook we add someone and call that someone as “friend”, not knowing that our definition of friend is slowly changing and being redefined.

We add, and add and add and add. But once we see that a social actor (aka friend) do you wrong, hitting the unfriend and block buttons are your first resorts.

The analogy and connection is pretty simple and clear. Perhaps, what is happening in Facebook, the friend-unfriend-block scheme, is a microcosm of what’s really happening on the ground. Perhaps our social instincts have been redefined by our over-indulgence with social media. Perhaps, unconsciously, the word friend or friendship has taken a new color and we are liking it.

A real friend will always remain no matter the situation because he/she is willing to fight the any dragons for and with you. A not-so-real friend will pack his/her things and will tell you he/she wants to live longer and will not fight the dragon with you. A real friend will crash a wall with you, a false friend will say you might be expelled from school. A real friend will never picture you as a doll that is disposal once a new model is advertised on the TV. A real friend will light the candle in the dark, not to put it out.

Euripedes shared, “Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.” But we take it the reverse way because happiness is positive and trouble is negative. We equate things like friend and love with all the positive things in life, never the negatives. What one have to realize is that, the light shines bright not in the light, but in the dark.


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