I once read that friends are the family that you get to choose for yourself. This makes sense, since your relations to friends are not usually bond by blood.
A friend could be anyone and they could come from anywhere. They come in many different shapes, forms, and sizes. We come into contact with so many people in many different places. In a place like Windhoek you are likely to bump into someone every time you are out in public. Some of them you ignore and others become friends. They are diverse and each brings something into our lives, whether good or bad, helpful or not. Parents try their upmost best to teach us as children how to choose our friends wisely, because even they know how friends can influence one’s life, especially in their youth.
Some friends end up being family. They are there for us no matter what. They can literally do anything for us. We may stay a while without communicating but it doesn’t affect the relationship. They always have our back and we know it. These are usually our closest friends.
Some friends end up using us. They take our friendship and care for a ride. They show up when they need our help or to laugh at our pain when we are not looking or are down. These are the types of friends whom our parents and caretakers warn us to look out for, and to stay away from. The backstabbers, they just bring the worst out of us. It’s a friendship full of mere words and no action. The sad reality is that most of the youth find themselves in these types of relationships and friendships.
Some friends become our guardian angels, no matter how many times we let them down, they always come to our rescue. They still see some hope in us and believe that we are the best, they ask nothing in return but simply offer us friendship. But there are friends I personally try to stay away from. These are friends and people that use us as a yardstick, they use our lives as a measuring instrument always trying to be better than us and giving us wrong information so as to remain ahead. These friends never celebrate us but use us to feel better about themselves.
As the youth gets older they start to understand and value friendships more, but at the same time also learn to accept that not everyone will be your friend forever, apparently it’s also part of growing up.
*Olavi Popyeinawa has a diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution and is currently studying law, LLB at the University of Namibia (Unam). He will weekly contributing this column on youth mattersInstagram: niceguy_olavi Facebook: Olavi Longfellow Twitter: @OlaviPopyeinawa