How do you define a ‘friend’?

I got this topic from The Daily Post at I signed up for the postaweek2011 challenge. This was yesterday’s topic, but, worthy of writing about on any day.

Inspired by all of the wonderful people I’m lucky enough to call friends, this is my answer…

Imagine a room. Imagine standing outside a window to that room on a bright, sunny day. All you can see is your reflection. You can’t see through the window, but you know the room beyond exists.

That’s as far as some people get. They stand outside your window and all they can see is themselves. Despite knowing the room beyond exists, despite seeing shadows moving in the room, they don’t quite understand what’s in there.

Others will be intrigued to know what exists in that room. So they go up close, they cup their hands around their face, peer through and knock on the window to show they are there. The room starts to take shape, shadows start to take form. They gain an understanding of the owner, and what’s beyond the window.

What’s beyond the window, what’s kept in that room, is the spirit and soul of a person. The room is full of energy, emotions, vulnerabilities and insecurities. The room is full of strength, knowledge, experience, wisdom and love. Riches so delicately precious and unique to it’s owner. Everything that makes a person the distinct person they are. They are the shapes and shadows that you see taking form when you peer in. They are what you become part of when you enter into that room yourself.

Guaranteed not everything in there will be to your taste, but you accept that. You accept it, because you know good friends will do the same when they look through your window too.

The only intentions are to handle the contents in the room with honesty, care and affection. To add to the treasures that already exist. The only request is that you do the same.

That’s how I’d define a good friend. They don’t stand back just to admire themselves in the reflection of your window, they move up close so they can see you too.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Moira Pritchard
    Jan 23, 2011 @ 22:48:30

    Bethan, this is so profound. You are my daughter & I love you unconditionally. I also have some special friends that I can equate to this. I would look through their window & try to perceive what they are going through – I know they would do the same for me. There aren’t that many – but I count you among them. Best Love – Mamxx


  2. Steve Walters
    Jan 24, 2011 @ 11:32:58

    It seems I have only you as a friend then? ha ha.

    As always, well written! It’s an understatement to say ‘Great Analogy’ you conjured up.

    MY SHORTER VERSION (albeit less creative)…
    My uncle used to tell me, a friend is someone you can call at silly o’clock in the morning if you’re broken down & stranded and they’ll come and pick you up.

    How many friends have you got that will do this? This often means your reduced to family members; as they are truthfully the ones you’ll feel comfortable in calling.


  3. corisel
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 11:17:19

    Hi just found your blog through a comment you left on someone elses. This is a beautiful definition of a friend. Great post!


    • bethanage
      Jan 27, 2011 @ 22:47:51


      Thank you very much. As I said in my post, inspired by the many wonderful people I call my friends. They mean the world to me and I’m very fortunate to have them.


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