“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

― Muhammad Ali

I have 1111 friends on Facebook… but what does this mean? Social media has been criticized many times for not being real, for showing fake life, for creating an illusion of friendship that is not really there. And I agree… to some extent.
But today I am going to share why I don’t agree. 1111 friends, a symbolic number but very real to me. I went through my “friends” list on Facebook and looked at all the names. What did they say to me? What did they mean to me? Why were they called my “friends”?

1111 friendsAnd I am so happy to be able to say that I remembered their names, and also their faces. I also remembered the circumstances in which these friendships were made.
I may have kept in contact, or may just talk occasionally online but for me that means already that it’s a friend of mine.

Looking in the dictionary, a friend is a person, attached to another by affection or personal regard. And it can also be a person who is on good terms with another. But never mind the definition, for me friendship is “you and me”. For me a friend, on Facebook or not, has a face, a box of memories, a source of smiles, a word of encouragement, a future to look forward to, a meeting to hope for and lots to learn from.

I went through this album of memories, one face at a time. And I laughed, I cried, I smiled, I cringed, I remembered, I relived, I revived memories that were on the shelf or in the bottom of a trunk. The boat ride in the oasis, the trips to new places, the smiles in shanty towns, the environmental awareness, the studies, the Christian family… they would not all exist if it were not for these friends.friends

And here I am just to say thank you. Thank you, friends, for reading this, close and far. Thank you for letting me be part of your lives for lots or little time. Thank you for being part of my past and my present as well. Thank you for taking part of my heart and keeping it safe. Thank you J And thanks to all those who are not on Facebook too, because Facebook does not determine how many friends I have. You are my friends and I love you too. 🙂

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”

― Linda Grayson



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