11.11.10

Friends: Valuing Our Connections...

"A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and the one that we take the least care of all to acquire." Francois de La Rochefoucauld


After a three week hiatus; being in absentia from blogging, internet access, life as we know it, social media and more, it is great to be back in New York and my connections here. My time away has been a blessing with cherished memories that will stay with me for life. I found that the human spirit is both flexible and resilient; we adapt to new environments and experiences and make necessary adjustments when we must. With that often comes the support and blessings of our friends and family and that is why this week's offering from  Kathy of Mamakat’s  is perfect.

As you might know, I joined her Writer's Workshop in late summer and periodically feature a prompt here. Kathy generously devotes part of her busy schedule, as a mom of three, to send weekly prompts to members of the writer's group. We choose one from a short list, write on it and then add it to a page link where everyone gathers to click and give comments/support to at least 3 other bloggers. I love the idea because it helps keep me focused on sharing blog posts in a community, forming new friendships and being part of a group of writers with a common goal.


Mama's Losin' It

This week’s prompt: Write about a time when you stuck up for a friend.

Throughout our lifetime, we form all manner of friendships; some intimate, some close and lifelong, some distant, some familial, others short term or even fractured. Each connection holds a memory bank of events, images, conversations and reminiscences that sometimes have  a profound impact on our lives. Our friendships are to be valued and never taken lightly ... but we sometimes do. Are there friends you know who are always available and helpful? Do we stop to honor them with a special treat, card or more than a thank you? Do we as the saying goes, always rise to the occasion to "watch their back" or defend them?

We are all somewhat guilty of assuming that our most treasured friends know we cherish them. Yes, we all love our friends and would help them when necessary but we shouldn't always wait for an occasion to reciprocate we can honor them now. My story below took me back to a moment when I had to stand up for a great friend who was being insulted by, you got it, another ...  friend!


On another note, before you read my story, I'd love to share that I am the featured blogger on Stacie of Survey Junkie's blog. Stacie started her Getting To Know You posts last August and she features a different blogger every week. You can even add your name/details to a form and she contacts you when she has scheduled you. Definitely an act of friendship and kindness rolled in one. Thank you for your generosity and friendship Stacie!


Back in my high school days in England, I had a group of friends who were the life and soul of every party. They loved great music, slick cars, fine wining and dining and stayed on the cutting edge of the music world.  We had many fabulous outings together and whenever I flash back to those years, memories of my great friend, Ahmed, comes front and center. 

Ahmed was a very smart and sensitive soul. He was great at electronics, read widely, and was planning to be an engineering student in college.  He drove an imported flashy car, but was the kindest and most humble person. He had exquisite taste and was quite astute at finding those hidden specialty boutiques in Knightsbridge, on Bond St or even Kings Rd. Whenever he found a shop, he would tell me and we'd all go shopping for clothes, shoes and other trinkets. While my sister, Joy, was the first person I know to own a pair in the late 1970s, Ahmed knew of Manolo Blahnik, and took me shoe shopping years and years before the TV show - Sex in The City -  made Manolos a household name in the US... By the way, we called them Blahniks in England... always by the last name.

I had another friend, Bea, who for whatever reason didn't like Ahmed. Whenever she was around our group of friends, she would deliberately find a way to hurl an insult at him or make some smart ass and quite unnecessary remark. We would caution her and he would slough it off and say she needed  to figure it out for herself.  When I would ask her privately why she was hostile to Ahmed, she never could give me a clear and straightforward answer.While Bea had a terrific sense of humor and could be tons of fun, having fits of anger was also part of her repertoire. She would react to the smallest thing and go ballistic ... it got quite tedious after some time.

One fateful day, we gathered at my home for brunch and everyone agreed to bring something to the gathering. We had a lovely spread; scones, tea cakes, scrambled eggs, crumble, tarts, fruits and veggies and lots of beverage choices. We were having a good old time, when out of the blue, Bea decided to make a rude remark to Ahmed. I immediately cautioned her that, as a guest in my home, I expected her to refrain from her usual public behavior as I wanted all my guests to have a good time. She did but only for a short while...

Before I knew it, Bea was at him again, only this time she crossed the line and made a stupid comment about his religious beliefs.  Everyone was outraged and Ahmed was very upset...  I was done and this time I took charge of the situation and defended him! I told her off and invited her to leave my home and to stay away until she apologized to both Ahmed and the entire group. I have no patience for religious intolerance as, I believe, we must respect other people's rights to practice their faith just as we want our own religious practices respected. She stalked off, our friendship sorely fractured, and I didn't hear from her again for several years.

She apologized and I forgave her, but we are no longer close friends. Ahmed and our group appreciated my taking a stand that day and we all agreed that as a fairly international group of people who traveled and connected with others, we did not need our valued friendships sullied by negativity and religious intolerance. I would do it again. 

Our friendships are precious; some are forever, yet others are for a short time and we can't be true to our friends if we operate from a place of resentment and petty hatreds.  If we stand by and watch our friends being maligned, we are silently consenting with the abuse. We must speak up and speak out. What would you have done? When did you last stick up for a friend?

PHOTO CREDITS:
Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Survey Junkie Blogspot


Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

40 comments:

  1. Wow, good for you! I am positive that I would have done the same thing in your position. I too have friends from all over the world and it's so important to respect each other's beliefs and cultures.
    -stopping by from Mama Kat's Workshop

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  2. Hello! I am a new follower from Blog Hop Thursday. Please come follow me at my review and giveaway blog, "In my opinion..." Here is the link:

    http://couponsandfreebiesforyou.blogspot.com/

    I have several blogs, but this one is the one I am trying to get followers on. Thanks soo much! :)

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  3. I'm following you from Thirsty Thursday Blog Hop.

    Love your blog and would love to join the writers group too.

    Check out my blog when you get a chance . . . I'm very much into gratitude and living the "simple abundance" life.

    Have an awesome Thursday!

    Gina

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  4. Following from Thirsty Thursdays...I have been a little lax in blogging lately...guess life gets in the way...but your blog is so inspirational that I am looking forward to following you and might even participate in your prompts from your Writers Workshop....I always wanted to join one or take a class...I love writing (hence the blogging) but never know where to start...besides you are a fellow New Yorker...so we have something in common...

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  5. So good to have you back Elizabeth! I recently read an article in More magazine about the average life span of friendships... ready? seven years. It was based on a 'scientific study' of some sort.

    I would have to say that, in my experience, it has to do with the true level of the friendship.
    We've moved almost constantly, and even though you create great bonds with people you've come to love, when you move away the relationship changes.

    The true friends are the ones that you can be away from for a year or more and when you get together you pick up right where you left off. The ones that were more superficial fade away. I'm blessed to have some cherished friends all over the place. And I have to thank facebook for making it so much easier to keep up with those friends on a daily basis. That makes a world of difference!

    As for your friends who didn't get along... I'd have done the same thing. You can't change anyone, but you can distance yourself from negative people.

    Great post as usual!

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  6. wow.. i'm very

    enjoy reading your post. great.

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  7. Hi there! New follower, from FFF. Great post! Really hit home for me right now, thanks for sharing. Stop by and visit my blog if you get the chance, thanks!

    Kimberley
    http://davisdailydose.blogspot.com/

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  8. Welcome back. and nice to meet you. I'm following your blog and networkblog too.

    Very nice post and so very true. It took me so many years to find a friend that I could just be me with.

    Have a great Sunday!

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  9. Thanks for joining us for the Cornucopia of Blogs Hop, I am now following you back.

    Mellisa
    www.funsavingmoney.net

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  10. love you post...stopping by from mama kat's...would love to join getting to know you thursdays too, sounds like so much fun!

    am your newest follower, btw...good day:)

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  11. http://barbarasbeat.blogspot.com/
    following

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  12. Newest follower :)
    Tori
    http://thriftytori.blogspot.com

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  13. Here from the bloghop.
    I'm a new follower. Please follow back
    Tiffany
    http://tiffspixiedust.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the follow, I actually already follow you! : )

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi! Following you now from the blog hop. Hope you'll visit my blog too:
    Hip Chick's Guide to PMS, Pregnancy, and Babies

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  16. Thanks for hopping by my blog! You write beautifully. It blows my mind how rude some people can be, for no apparent reason. Good for you for standing up to it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for stopping by and following me! I am now a follower of yours too.

    Have a great night!

    Jodi
    http://amomhavingfun.blogspot.com
    http://www.jodishomebiz.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi! Glad to see you are back. Thanks for stopping by. Congrats for being featured on "Survey Junkie's Blog". Have a great week!

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  19. Thanks for stopping by - I'm following you back :)

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  20. Hi! I'm actually a new follower from Marine Parents! Hope you can join me, too :) I look forward to reading more!

    http://www.militarywivessaving.com
    http://www.diapersandkoolaid.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I am now following back from bloggy mom's blog hop.

    Aly

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  22. Thanks for stopping by MK&K! I'm following you too now! :)

    Kathryn
    http://www.mommykatandkids.com

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  23. Thank you all for your comments and Google friend follow. I love visiting and reading new blog posts... Keeps my blogging juices flowing. Have a great week!
    Btw, Kimberly, I had trouble leaving you a blog comment... the comment page only loaded partially. I can check back another day to leave you a comment. I am already following your blog.
    Best,
    Elizabeth

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  24. Thank you for stopping by! I am now following you!

    Beki
    mymodernguide.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for following! Im your newest follower!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the follow! Following you back :)

    Wendy @ Minding Spot

    ReplyDelete
  27. Following you back from Pink Dandy Blog Hop

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi! I am a new follower. You can visit me at mymodernguide.blogspot.com

    Thanks,
    Beki

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  29. Great post! I would have done the same thing. I will stick up for my friends any chance I get. And if you hurt my friend, you hurt me too. I never take my friendships for granted and I make it a point to let my friends know just how much I value them. Your friends are lucky to have you. :-D

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  30. Thanks for stopping by and linking up to Friendy Wednesday! I'm now following you
    www.savingthosedollars.blogspot.com

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  31. not in the blog hop, but like your thoughts on this matter... the truth, well spoken, is always the best route.

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  32. Grazie per le informazioni di grande! Non avrei scoperto questo altrimenti!

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  33. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, may all your wishes come true!

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  34. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, may all your wishes come true!

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  35. Thank you everyone for your comments and goodwill on my blog... Friendship is precious and I view your support as an act of friendship... and for that I am grateful!
    Have a Happy Holiday Season and do come back!
    Blessings,
    Elizabeth

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  36. Happy Holidays!
    Buone vacanze!
    Joyeuses Fêtes!
    ハッピーバカンス!
    节日快乐!
    أعيادا سعيدة!
    С праздником!
    تعطیلات مبارک!
    हैप्पी छुट्टियाँ!
    ¡Felices Fiestas!
    גליקלעך האָלידייַס!
    Շնորհավոր Տոն!
    Boas festas!
    Happy Holidays everyone and thank you for your comments!
    Elizabeth

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  37. Merry Christmas! Let the new year will bring a lot of money

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  38. JUST became your newest follower - lovely blog you have here! Will have fun looking around a bit! ;)
    Come visit my blog, and enter to win a gift certificate for $50 at TEA COLLECTION!
    Thanks! Jessica

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  39. What a great friend you are! Thank you for sharing your story with us....

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