You know we toss around this word so freely in today’s modern society. I thought I’d take a moment out of my life and define what a friend is to me. I like to always start these types of essays with established facts. So with that in mind here is friend defined: Friend;

–noun

1.

a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

2.

a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.

3.

a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?

4.

a member of the same nation, party, etc.

5.

(initial capital letter ) a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.

–verb (used with object)

6.

Rare. to befriend.

7.

make friends with, to enter into friendly relations with; become a friend to.

This is the solid definition as described in the dictionary. Now using this worldwide definition of what a friend is, I’d like to tell you what I think a friend is. First just like the defined word I think a friend has different levels of friendships. The first level to me is the ones with the longest history and shared experiences together. To me those would be the people in my life that have known me since my childhood days.

These friends I call my “true friends”. They are the ones that have stood the test of time and space. I call them my hommies. We have shared childhood memories good and bad and we have been able to stay in contact over the many years that have taken place in our respective lives. These friends I now see as extended family members to me. We don’t talk often, but when we do we pick and catch up on each others lives and move forward just like we talked yesterday. These are some of the best people in my lives and are just like family to me now. I value and love them just like family.

The second type of friends. They fall just below my hommies in my life. They are people I’ve met along the way that also have long term histories with me and my life. I’ve met them along the way usually in the younger days of my early adulthood. They are my college, work, and just met on the street friends. I consider them to be hommies they just they just don’t go as far back as that first set of childhood friends but have a high degree of friendship with me. We share similar values, ethics, and have a very close bond with each other that has also endured the test of time and space.

Third and last type is the internet type. I notice most social sites, Face book, Myspace, etc. use the term very loosely. These are people that I’ve never met personally but through the wonder of technology we can now reach out in the universe and touch with our thoughts and ideas. I now have about 270 friends on Facebook, and about 150 on another social site that I am a part of. These are people that I have befriended through the touch of keystroke asking for friendship or they have asked me for same. They usually are people who share with me a shared valued system of right/wrong and whom I consider decent intelligent people from what they share with me and others on the social site. We form a sort of modern technology community whereby we share out lives in varying degrees of social commentary and intimacy. I value their friendships greatly and view some as closer internet friends than others. That is determined by the amount of interaction we share with each other in time. This third type is rather new to me as an individual and I find it to be very interesting group of people that are relatively new in my life via the internet but I value their friendship also and respect them greatly. This third category of friends is the largest and grows as time goes on. I feel a person can never have enough friends. But it’s important to know as an individual just what a friend is and what type they are. I personally never confuse them and know exactly which type they are.

In summary. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity in my life to have friends. They are the social glue that holds me to a group of people that I deem important in my life. I value all three types and hope and pray that I can be a good friend to them the way I see them for me. Friendships are very important to me and I am blessed to have them.

What is a friend to you?

Ernie Mixon

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