Freindship is one of those words that means something different for each individual. The following story illustrates what it means to me.
Recently a group of people I am friends with had a serious falling out with a friend I will call friend B. Things were said and written that were taken the wrong way and it turned into a first rate disaster. The whole thing made me incredibly sad because I liked all who were involved. Then, even more unkind things were said. I didn't really say anything, because I figured it would die out. It didn't. I found myself distancing myself from the group telling myself I had other things on my plate, but when I looked at the truth of the matter, I realized that I didn't like what they were saying. It wasn't right-pure and simple. I usually have the ability to see both sides of an issue which can sometimes really complicate my life when situations like this arise. I was still friends with people in this group of friends and I was still friends with B.
Then, something wonderful happened for B. As soon as I heard it, I was grinning from ear to ear and couldn't wait to congratulate her. I was so happy for her. Other people weren't and again, there were unkind things said. I spoke up, saying basically that I thought it was great. I'm sure that did not earn me many brownie points, but I had to say it. After saying that, I withdrew a little more. A few days later, a friend in the group, friend A, made it known that she was very sad and down over what had happened. Now A has had, what to me, is a rough year and is a person with a very kind heart. I had no doubt that she was indeed, feeling awful about what had occured. It made me feel bad for her because she is a friend, too. She and B had been very close. I hated the fact that 2 friends of mine were no longer friends. After giving it careful thought, the next time B and I were in contact, I let her know in a roundabout way, that A was sad over the broken friendship. She seemed kind of surprised, but after we talked a little more, she said that , she would be open to seeing what could be done to patch up the friendship. That made me happy. B also told me that she was going to do something so that some of the friends in the group would not feel caught in the middle of this problem. and she did it. It wasn't unkind or anything, but again, within the group there was a lot of dissention over what B had done. That was kind of like the final straw to me. I told B I was going to stand up and speak my piece. She told me I didn't need to defend her, but she also knew that she couldn't change my mind about it. She knows me pretty well. So I spoke my piece, again saying why B had taken the action she did. I was tired of all the crap being said and didn't care.
The group felt that I was "telling tales out of school" and in a way, I suppose I was. I lost many friends in the group. Was it worth it? Yes it was. A and B are talking and working on repairing their friendship. I am still friends with both of them and dear friends they both are, too. Do I miss what I lost by doing this? I do, but knowing that my friends are working on the friendship they nearly lost forever helps fill the void of what I lost by intervening. I know they will be there for me while my personal life unravels like badly made twine. That's what my idea of friendship is.