Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Between belonging, loyalty and being a good friend

We all have our friends who can be one way or another “different” than us. And the worst fetal disease that can infect a friendship is being trapped between being loyal to what you are and being loyal to your friends.

For some reasons, people still think having a friend with different beliefs – and I don’t necessarily mean religions- is itself betrayal to one’s own beliefs. Cause it’s puzzling to them how they get along so perfectly with people who think whatever that they don’t.

“It’s either they are right or I’m not a good believer who doesn’t stand on a solid ground”. This is how they perceive it.

First of all, you’ll never be on this “solid” ground. And you shouldn’t by the way! Yes, you shouldn’t

It’s the day by day evolving question from the people you respect and trust that is the best chance for you to interact with yourself! This is the perfect chance for ourselves to “question” our ideologies, passions and even beliefs. If time doesn’t add up to the own impression to your life, then one is not growing up! Part of maturity is the ability to grasp differences and being able to define, label and interact with them without losing you own self.

“It’s by knowing what I am not that I really know what I am”

Stating what you are for yourself is not by any means considered deceiving your “different” friend as well. Being close friends by definition means that you both are already aware of those differences.

You are not supposed to highlight them

You are not expected to disgrace them

You will may be put into a discussion every now and then, and you will naturally say what you really think without being scared of jeopardizing this friendship. This friend chooses to accept you as you are just as you are expected to do.

Now with the silly questions:

Does it make me a bad Muslim to have a gay friend? Alcoholic? Atheist?

I believe he might actually go to hell, but again who knows! Am I a bad friend?

The reason why I’m writing this is that ever since the Ghaza crisis has started and I feel a lot of friendships here on face book are in real danger. People are so provoked by what everyone say. The way I see it, each one of us has his own scenario and agenda. I can agree with one here but I may disagree there. And cause of the nature of the problem, things usually get so tense.

So please everybody. In Ghaza or another, I can see where you’re different than me and I’m OK with it, and I hope you do the same with me too. We don’t have to call each others names, we don’t have to confront each other with our judgments for ourselves, I think we all already are aware of them.

I here remember Alanis Morissette in her lovely song “I was hoping”;

And I said "do you believe we are fundamentally judgmental? Fundamentally evil?"

And you said "yes"

Yes! No matter how hard we try, we still somehow slip into that road of judgment. But as long as we drive safely and focus on enjoying our trip together, I think we all can save our friendships..And ourselves.