Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Significance



I was reading through some old posts in my Facebook account when I came across a note, which I thought is still an accurate description of what I am feeling right now. I remember that my impetus for writing that note was an anecdote from a friend of mine about this group of friends he met who liked hanging out because, as my friend told me, they thought of each other as insignificant. The term they actually used was basura (garbage) and my friend told me that, for them, the tie of friendship was based on the fact that no one thought much of anyone else; therefore, because they accepted each other's inconsequentiality, no one was more or less important than anyone else. The fact that you are accepted despite your insignificance meant that the people who accepted you are your ‘real’ friends. I assume this is so because they thought no one else would want you.

And I thought this was the saddest thing, to have friends who never believed in you, but who were your friends precisely because they found you trivial. What would that mean for a person’s self-worth I wonder? How can one go through life thinking one is worthless?

Feeling worthless is not an uncommon emotion I think, although it is a tragic one. When you get to a point where you become incapable of believing in yourself and in your capacity to better yourself, then you become a shell of a man (or woman). What is life without the hope for something better? What can one look forward to, aside from death?

So I wrote this note, quoted below, which I realize is a response to the idea that a ‘real’ friendship can be based on disrespect. The idea sounds like an unbelievable notion, but apparently a lot of people have friends like these. And when you truly think about it, and when you consider all the battered wives, or disinherited gay sons and daughters, you realize it’s not really such a surprising thing. Some people get power from making another feel worthless. It’s a sad fact, but a true one nonetheless.

On Friendship

Life has been very mechanical lately. Automatic. Predictable. Far from mindless, but really really boring still.

Notwithstanding that statement, I've been having wonderful discussions with some of my friends recently. Realizations mostly, life directions, epiphanies. About greatness and love and strength of character. It feels interesting, like I'm part of something big. Like the universe has plans for me or something.

The wonderful thing about my relationship with my close friends is that it's based on mutual respect. Not convenience, not affection, not circumstance. We seek out each other's company, that's the thing. I mean, for me anyway, it's very rare that you meet people that you really respect. Whose presence makes you feel bigger, more important. And not in the superficial way that money or fame makes people important; more like this: it's as if by simply talking to them, you take for granted that you can achieve the impossible. Move mountains. Change the world. It's as if idealism is not an abstract concept, but a lifestyle.

I don't know if it's the same with everybody else, but that's how it is with me. That's the common thread with all of my close friendships. Na hindi kami basura sa mata ng isa't isa (That we are not garbage in each other's eyes), but something else, something brighter, larger. At this point indescribable, just a sense of something real, almost tangible. Extraordinary maybe, or maybe unreal.

Photo taken here.

30 comments:

  1. "Friendships" often seem to form because the people are bonding through weaknesses--when they should be coming together because of their strengths.

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  2. Made me look at my own life too. Hehehe.

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  3. The best friends make you feel better about yourself. They bring out the best in you and make you feel inspired when you're around them. "Friendships" based on common weaknesses are not true friendships; they're crutches that are discarded when no longer needed.

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  4. Can't see nothing wrong with friendships out of affection :-)

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  5. I like this post.

    I have few "real" friends, but the few I do have became so because of that mutual respect, admiration, and affection you wrote about.

    Friends should neither deflate nor inflate each other's worth, but recognize and appreciate one another's value - warts and all.

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  6. I agree completely. True friendship in when you see something very special in that person, and they see something special in you. When you value each other mutually and derive joy from each other's presence. It's not selfish or based on low self-esteem or cruel to others.

    True friendship is a precious thing. I'm grateful for the friends I have.

    Jai

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  7. True friends are worth their weight in gold. So many take it for granted these days. If only everyone had friends they could count on; no matter what. What an amazing universe this would be....

    Thank you for stopping by; Fickle Cattle. I believe I will follow you. Because your writing? Beautiful and comes from the heart. I love that.

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  8. I believe you're right. A lot of people have social relationships (I refuse to refer to them as friendships) that diminish the participants. At the age of 40, I have learned that those relationships require a higher price than I am willing to pay.

    I have learned that a TRUE friendship takes a lot less effort. It allows you to be yourself and it allows you to find out who you are. It's positive and comforting and supportive.

    I try to remind my teenaged daughters of this and I hope they're listening. I plan to forward your post on to them and I thank you for posting it.

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  9. Well said. This really resonates with me and something that I hope to tap into with some of my writing but which I have yet to get full up the courage for.

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  10. Your best friends make you better! Lovely post today. Very poetic.

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  11. Everyone needs to have friends that make them want to be better, and actually be better. I try my best to be that kind of friend because I know what it's like to feel worthless and I hate it when other genuinely nice people feel that way.

    I want to help make a difference.

    http://theadorkableditzmissteps.blogspot.com/

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  12. great post as usual...

    the bond of mutual respect is what makes relationships intelligent. respect makes a differing view a strengthening tool not a deconstructing force. true friendship is based on the ability to intellectually respect the differences between us, for each of us is a unique and complex individual...

    at least in my true friendships this is the case and we can only write reality from our own reality..

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  13. The word significance resonates in my mind. Sometimes it is easy to find significance in something empty, but you make a very interesting point that what is truly worthy of our attention must command and garner our respect.

    I like that thought very much. You get this often, but one more thank you won't hurt.

    Thank You for sharing.

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  14. Thanks for the comment on my blog.
    Your blog looks cool, some really interesting writing :)

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  15. WOW ! You write really powerfully. I had to re evaluate a lot this year friendship wise but decided to accept the disappointments & cherish the suprises.

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  16. hello
    I am your 657th follower!
    greetings from Trelawnyd in North Wales
    a village of under 500people
    I will return
    johnx

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  17. Brilliant! I had a friend once that only was my friend because she thought she was better then me, as if my inferiority made her feel bigger, cooler. Needless to say, she was much smaller then I had thought of her, and I have way better friends now.
    I do feel useless sometimes, and it sucks though. But friends and family always help =)

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  18. Thank you for visiting my site, I thought I'd make a return visit! I love your thoughts, and especially this post, it's deep and true.

    I don't have to speak with my friends each day, there's just always a strong understanding of each other whenever we do. The conversation always flows from where we last left each other, because we know, love and understand that our relationship is not based on anything superficial, but because our energies click in some special way.

    http://littlelightinlondon.blogspot.com/

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  19. i think at some point we all feel insignificant... i know i do... YOU know i do, as you read my post yesterday :)

    (thanks for stopping thru, eh...)

    and people seek out companionship... we look for people who can relate... who see us the way we see ourselves; or sometimes, if we are lucky, they see us in an even better light... we look for so we dont feel alone. and when we arent alone, i think we feel like more... :) maybe its just me?

    either way, i get where you are coming from.
    excellent post!!

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  20. Surely the whole point of a friend is someone you can approach as an equal (mentally if not physically), otherwise one of you is just going to end up patronised and offended?
    Now I'm analyzing my friendships!

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  21. Well, I can't judge them. Misery loves company after all :)

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  22. Beautiful, yes, I have friends with whom, I feel free, unbounded.
    Brilliant post.

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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  23. That is a very sad prospect, yet i know a small group of friends who feel and act the same way, and simply are friends because they all look at each other as non-achievers who will never amount to much. it's...tragic. maybe i just can't wrap my head around it because i am someone who requires much more love and affection and recognition for the things that i do and need and want, and because of that i act in that way, making sure that everyone knows when i think they have accomplished something big, or made an impact on me, or made me proud of them. people deserve to know and feel like they are accomplishing something, and i think that is one of the things that drives us to most to keep going, and do more, and reach for our goals. without it, we really can't accomplish anything. This is a beautiful post, and if its okay with you, i would like to post a similar post on my own blog sometime over the next few days.

    :)

    Thanks for sharing. you are awesome.

    -Corey

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  24. So, I had this idea, and I was wondering if maybe you would want to help me with it! I want to make an it gets better video with clips from gay guys who blog. I wanna have four or five guys on there and i will mash them all together into a video. Is there a chance that I could ask you to record a five minute video of yourself telling your story and why you think it gets better and such? i think it would be really awesome. :) Then email it to me @ coreywilkey@gmail.com

    let me know :)

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  25. Nice post....and just in time...thank you...

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  26. @corey: Can I think about it? I'm incredibly camera shy. :-)

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  27. Of course! lol :) I would love it if you could and decided that you want to, but completely understand if you dont feel comfortable with it :) i am a little camera shy too haha...video camera shy, at least :)

    let me know! you know where to find me!

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