Skip to main content

The warmth of friendship

Old friends. They are individuals you know well and like.

They could be one of your best, close or childhood friends.

What do they mean to you?

I am asking you this question because I had just spent the whole day with an old friend from Singapore. Let us call her Pat.

Pat was one of my colleagues at the Singapore Monitor (now defunct) in the early 1980s. We were junior journalists at the newspaper organisation back then.

We were part of a circle of journalists in Singapore; shared ideas and experiences saw some of us forging bonds of friendship between each other.

When the newspaper folded in the late Eighties, Pat and I went our separate ways.

I returned to Malaysia and resumed my career as a journalist at the newspaper organisation I was attached to before I left to go to Singapore.

Pat fell in love with an English man, got married and relocated to the United Kingdom. She came back to Singapore when her husband passed away several years ago.

Initially, we kept in touch but distance and preoccupation with our own lives disrupted the connection between us. There was a point when there was no contact at all. That lasted for several years.

We reconnected a few months ago when I found her through Facebook and hence his post.

We arranged to meet this morning in Petaling Jaya; she was here with her two children to celebrate her uncle's 80th birthday on Saturday.

There was no awkwardness in our meeting. We greeted each other like the old friends that we are and chatted away from the word go.

The time spent with Pat and her children was one of the most satisfying moments of my life.

We talked about our lives now, work, men, clothes, Singapore, the past, present and future, and the mistakes we have made, among others.

What does Pat's friendship  mean to me?

I will rely on C. S. Lewis to answer my question.

He said that "friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art ... it has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival."

Survival. The word evokes  images of difficulties and our battle to overcome them.

Indeed, the idiom "the survival of the fittest" encapsulates the rationale behind our fight to continue to exist on Earth.

And all other issues fade into insignificance compared with the struggle for survival.

The friends in our midst make life bearable. They are there to give us a prod, if we have given up.

Haven't you craved for a word of encouragement from a good friend? Do you know a certain someone who is always there with a sympathetic ear? When was the last time someone gave you lots of tender loving care?

Old friends in particular reassure us that the big bad world can sometimes be a nice place to live in. They keep alive our past which is necessary to understand the present and future.

Their belief in us can change the way we see ourselves and our problems.

It is possible to fix our broken hearts, move towards that promotion, go after the job we want and attain spiritual perfection.

A word of thanks to Pat and all my good friends: I am extremely grateful for the warmth of your friendship.

Comments

Koh said…
so nice. I agree completely.

Popular Posts

My year at The Rakyat Post

Dec 31, 2014, the last day of the year and the end of my one year stint at The Rakyat Post , an online news portal.
Educational is the best way to sum up my year at The Rakyat Post.
Leaving your comfort zone is intimidating at first; it has a steep learning curve. But now I wish I had done it sooner and the whole exercise reaffirms my motto: “learn, learn, learn”.
Einstein was spot on when he said, “Learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it”.
When I left theNew Straits Times to join The Rakyat Post on Jan 3, 2014, I didn’t know what to expect.
Nelson Fernandez, also known was Mohd Ridzwan Abdullah, had invited me to join him at the website this time last year.



He was charged with assembling a team to provide content for the portal. And I am glad I said yes.
Switching from traditional journalism to online journalism is challenging, as anyone who had made that transition will tell you.
Editorial content is disseminated by way of the internet as opposed to pub…

Behind the wheel at 60

Madam Susila arrives at a driving institute in Ipoh, Perak feeling nervous. This is her first time there. She is 47 years old and a recent widow.

He husband had died four months ago in his car during an outing with the family. He was driving through Ipoh town when he suddenly complained of pain in the throat area. He pulled over to one side of a quiet road to take a short rest but went limp soon after.

Susila called for an ambulance immediately and medical personnel took her husband's body to the hospital.

The grieving widow and her three sons were left to sort out the affairs of the deceased man. It hit Susila then -- "I don't know how to drive," she recoiled in horror.

She discussed her concern with the boys and they agreed with her decision to enrol into a driving school. It must be said that Susila had wanted to take up driving as a young bride but her husband discouraged her, saying "I will be the driver in this family".

Sixty-year-old Salmah had done…

A spot of rural tranquillity in Ipoh

Your nerves are frayed and you need a dose of pleasingly rustic ambience without having to leave the city. There is such a spot for you, if you are in Ipoh. All you need to do is head for a block of flats called Kinta Heights in Pekan Lama, Ipoh, Perak, which is next to the Kinta River, one of the main branches of the Perak River.

Unbelievable, as it may seem, there are several nasi kandar outlets and sundry shops in the vicinity, set in the greenery, with a view and a walking path. I suggest that you have lunch at Ramli Nasi Kandar and after that, take a very short walk to the river bank for your rural retreat. You might be motivated to spend 10 minutes or more in total silence and tranquillity. This is the place I go to again and again.



You will feel irritated by people putting litter on the ground but I refuse to allow that to distract me. There is a 'Do not litter' notice here but some people don't seem to care. If you throw rubbish in your town, you are saying you do…