I’ve known her from the day I was interviewed. In fact, she was on the panel that interviewed me. I was struck by the way she handled her line of questioning; she wasn’t brash or aggressive, she was what you would describe as cool, calm and collected (very analytical). She talked only when she was curious about a point I made or did not make that I should have. Later on, I saw her again, active but focused. I would admire her from afar and could only connect with her when an official task afforded me the opportunity.
It was one of such tasks that finally brought us together three weeks ago. It was as if I had known her for years and we stuck together from that point on. She very natural – there’s nothing fake about her – intelligent and hardworking. When I grow up I would like to be like her (smile).
Deep Love
She loves deeply and takes on a lot; everyone’s problem is hers. She looks at issues objectively and proffers solutions swiftly. She told me that her mother once told her that she would soon go bonkers from worrying about other people. Her mother made the comment when they were held up in traffic one day and my ‘angel’ saw a physically challenged boy and his mother begging on the street. My ‘angel’ could not contain herself and broke down.
It took a lot of counselling from her mum to make her understand that life will never be perfect and she was bound to encounter more people like that. Her mother told her that if she could not accept that people like that abound in the world, she would kill herself over what she has little or no power to control; that it is the exclusive preserve of God Almighty who takes care of everyone whether they believe in Him or not. She could attempt to help, but that would be the best she could do.
Genuinely concerned
A family member of mine had a serious health problem that necessitated surgery and this ‘angel’ would text me and call on end to see how the person was doing. How caring of a person I had barely known a month. One remarkable attribute she has and that I admire the most is how she is able to be genuinely concerned about everybody and stay sane.
Just as I was beginning to really enjoy her friendship and tap from her wealth of experience she decided to leave. Yes, I was touched by an angel for just three weeks and now I’m hurting, because she is gone; she left me in the cold.
The vehicle of hurt
For some time now, I have been avoiding getting too close to people. You only end up getting hurt by getting involved with too many people. We often try to shield our hearts and souls from pain. Friendship is always a vehicle of hurt and pain. When any of my relatives are about to get married, I always tell them to be very careful with friends, because friends always seek to hurt you and you cannot shield yourself well enough. When you are careful and vigilant you may just be lucky to avoid that.
Friends can influence even your most genuine intentions. I remember that as a bride to-be, I met this set of people living in my neighbourhood who thought I was young and stupid and did not have the ability to think for myself. But for God’s guidance and my upbringing, I would have been misled by those people with their crazy ideas about how to treat a man. They may have meant well, but my ‘programming’ and perspectives were very different from theirs.
Separating the grain
I must say that at that same time, I also met wonderful people from whose fountain of knowledge and wisdom I drank. If I had dismissed making friends altogether, I would not have learnt the nice and amazing things I know and I would not have been blessed with positive friends. If we do not open our hearts to friendship, how would an angel touch them? How would we become acquainted with the beauty of genuine friendship? We also know that human beings can be very difficult. There’s a saying where I come from that a human being is both difficult and sweet.
The way we were brought up stays deeply entrenched in us, therefore, no matter the external influence (friends), you will always be you if you choose so; the ability to ward off negative influence depends on you. Choosing to do so gives you an edge, the strength to identify good from the bad. Or may I say that the ability to separate the grain from the chaff has more to do with your wealth of wisdom and innate guidance than anything else.
Deserved friendship
When opening your heart to people, be very careful, as your intentions may be misconstrued or associated with negativity. Sometimes, you meet a particular person you perceive to be nice and well intentioned and with whom you could be safe and content and the person perceives otherwise, I do not think you should waste your time with such person, as he or she may not be deserving of your friendship after all.
Friendship, like love, sneaks up on you, tiptoes gently, straight into your heart. You do not bargain for its forceful hold on you. When smitten with how pure and invigorating it is, there is usually no anticipation of any ulterior motives on either part. Your heart simply keeps telling you how the object of your friendship cares for you. Friendship means more than we ascribe to it.
It involves responsibility and compromise. A friend should be a friend indeed, one you can depend on, a person who cries when you cry or who makes you laugh when you really need to, or who is there for you during trying times or when you just need someone to be there.
Huge hearts
I am fortunate and grateful to be blessed with sweet and loving friends, who are more like siblings to me. I know where to go when I need someone to confide in. I know who to call when I need cheering up. I know exactly whose shoulder I can lean on to cry when I am blue. When we accept people the way they are and make the most of the friendship we will not expect too much of them and will experience better and more rewarding relationships. Do not just make friends, make friends with people who have lots of love in their hearts, friends who can contain your huge heart, that is, who are deserving of your friendship. You will know them when you meet them. By their fruits (character) you can classify them and you will be glad you did.
To all my friends – old and new – may the sweet fragrance of love, joy, friendship and harmony continue to trail us wherever we may be? To my newest angel, I wish you the best in all your endeavours. Wherever you go, the blessings of Allah will go with you. Do not forget to thank God Almighty for blessing you with such a lovely heart. I want you to know that you are one of the beautiful things that have happened to me recently. Thank you for touching my heart. Keep searching.
An excellent way to source for gratitude and inner peace is to spend a moment every day thinking of someone to love. Do you remember the old saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away? The equivalent prescription for love might be thinking of someone to love each day keeps resentment away. Thinking of all the loving friends you have and how much they mean to you will saturate your mind and most importantly your system with so much positivism that it will extend to your environment.

SI Magazine

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