#32 Happiness is being in the presence of friends

Dr. Pooh & Tigger

I could be totally healthy, physically fit, wealthy and successful, but if I did not have one true friend, I would not be happy.

My friends have helped me through the darkest times in my life – with illness and accidents, failures and breakups, tragedy and grief. No matter what life presents, my friends bring me hope and happiness.

We all mean different things when we call someone a friend just as we feel different things when we say, “I love you.”

Do you define friends as the people you like to hang out with? Your drinking buddies? Your shopping pals? Your partners in crime? Are friends the people you small talk with? Are they just people that are fun to have around?

Sometimes we have friends who justify our bad behaviour and bad habits. In their company, we may drink more and abuse our bodies more. These are our travelling companions on the road to self-destruction.

But I recognize true friends as people who are better together than apart. Real friends bring out the best in one another. We help each other achieve our potentials. We can do more together than we could alone.

My best friends know the real me. They sometimes see me better than I see myself. They recognize the best in me, remind me of my dreams and push me to be my best.  They recognize the worst in me, call me on it but love me nonetheless.

My best friends tell me the truth – even if I don’t want to hear it – because I need to know.

What best friends give is the purest form of love, and that love is omniconditional; at every stage in life, at any age and in every circumstance, we are loved, accepted and forgiven just as we are.

Love is the flower of friendship in full bloom; it never withers and never dies.

Happiness is being in the presence of a friend.

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About Davidicus Wong

I am a family physician. I write a weekly newspaper column, Healthwise for the Vancouver Courier, Burnaby Now, Royal City Record and Richmond News.
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