Friday, January 30, 2009


You choose your friends, not your family. I have come across this saying many times. At first glance this sounds derogatory to the family side. There seems to be a presumption here that family is boring since you are born into it and you have no control over who you want and dont want to be your family, and friends are more fun since you can choose them.

Is it really all true that you can choose your friends? Lets say I want to choose 2 people to be my friends from a set of people who I know well. Now let me be clear here, the set of people who I know well are my aquaintances and the 2 people from that set are the ones I want to be “friends” with. What is the guarantee here that those 2 people will like me equally as I like them and want to be my friends?

So should'nt the saying be something like, “You choose your friends from the lot which shares your mutual feelings”? I mean you are not really free to xchoose whoever you want, you have to choose from the lot that is available to you. When this happens, there are compromises.
Again lets say I find my BFF finally, I would not think twice before saying to him/her, hey you are like family to me, you are my “real” family. Or vice versa, if you have a family member who makes you wish you did not share the same lastname, you'd wish he/she was not your family. So now such behavior makes anybody you consider as “family” much more valuable than someone who you dont. So should'nt the saying should be ammended to, “you eventually find good friends and include them in your family”?.

A long time ago one of my friends then, told me the difference between aquaintances and friends. Most people have a large number of aquaintances and a decent social life with them. But even in a crowd, its those few people whose presence matters most. They are the party drivers for me, the ones without whom i cannot enjoy a gathering completely. They are the ones whose company i enjoy most because they think, talk, laugh, get excited and want to do similar things like me. They are there when i need a hand, a shoulder or a high-five. There are very few such people one can find for themselves in the world. The ones that stick with you for life, irrespective of time or geographic distance. The ones with whom even after a long silent gap, you can start where you left off without hesitation or awkwardness. The ones that come with no strings attached. They are my friends whom I have made my family, and my family whom I have made my BFF. They are the ones who make the journey to the destination, so much more fun. :-)