How far does one go to help a friend?

6 07 2007

I have never really understood the saying “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. I have two very good friends whom I have known for more than 10 years. We have loved, laughed and cried together through all that life chucked our way – mostly coming out on the other side more or less in one piece. Sadly, over the years, their respective personal situations have deteriorated to such an extent that I find myself (willingly), giving more than I get. Am I being selfish? My heart bleeds for them but listening their on-going dramas, my feelings of helplessness and frustration cause my moods to match theirs. Time and time again, I have presented them with workable option on how to improve their situations, only to be met with fear due to lack of self-confidence. Talking about ones problems, I know, makes it seem so though the burden is being shared therefore lightened but when the topic turn to financial support – where does one go from there?

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16 responses

6 07 2007
K Chasu

in my experience, lending money is a bad idea. besides, you have to let people sort themselves out – they never listen to advice.

6 07 2007
Spoegs

KC makes a good point but playing Twister might help you explore some of these issues on deeper level. Picture it just after your friend has moved there elbow to the blue spot you can ask – “Where’s my money you p**s”

6 07 2007
nossie

Hi K Chasu, yes I agree but both these womens’ husbands passed away tragically and left them almost destitute with no family member to help them out. I just can’t watch them go hungry. Literally. And to make matter worse – one has a son who is diabetic!

6 07 2007
nossie

Hi Spoegs, you are so right….where the @#$% has the @#$%life insurance money gone?? The tosser cancelled the policy to cover gambling debts!!

6 07 2007
K Chasu

mm. it’s still not strictly your problem nossie. they should have family/church/other support groups.

6 07 2007
Spoegs

Thanks Nossie – If you’re really looking at spicing up the game of twister then I’d suggest some baby oil thrown into the equation.

6 07 2007
nossie

Kc, there are for sure places and people who are willing to assist but I think the people concerned are allowing pride to get in their way. Obviously they have not yet hit rock bottom…probably hoping I will trawl them up from the depths…

6 07 2007
Spoegs

Nossie – what you could also consider is making your own baby oil. What you need is 2-3 medium sized babies and a large pot with fire underneath. It might be difficult getting the babies in at first but it’ll be wort it in the end. Disclaimer – This is a joke – I do not advocate the use of babies in the manufacture of baby oil.

6 07 2007
misericordia

A friend in need is a friend indeed. What does this expression mean? Like you, I thought for years that it is a cynical commentary on how “friendly” people get when they need something. In fact, it means the exact opposite: when you are in need and someone is willing to help you, then that someone is a true friend.

6 07 2007
nossie

Hi Misercordia, you are so right…I have been that friend on the receiving end a few times and I must say that friends like those I have, who are prepared to walk alongside you during those times, can be counted on one hand. Its all a question of give and take, I suppose…the scales never balance on a day to day basis, maybe not even on a month to month basis, but the wheel does turn…

29 07 2007
davidvanwyk

Much as the depression your friends suffer from clouds your own mood, your willingness to assist them, guide them and provide them with advice lifts the clouds of depression from them. If you have to give emotionally and materially then give what you have… what you give will come back to you eventually… probably many fold. Never burn your bridges with humanity in general and your friends in particular.

30 07 2007
nossie

Thanks for the words of wisdom…I’m all “wisdomed out” right now. I could never desert a freind in need..but sometimes, just sometimes, I would like them to just ask how I am doing. You know what I mean?

30 07 2007
nossie

David, did you get Hubbee’s messeage? He called you re Thabazimbi.

30 07 2007
morty

nossie… i’m surrounded by “friends in need” – to the tune of about 3500.00 a month lately – and that from this unemployed wench’s pension fund payout!

the emotional and mental cost is higher – it’s exhausting – i reach for the tranq’s – and put them back, because the situation seems permanent, so whats the point?

i often ask myself why i do this, and get told regularly that i need to be ‘harder’ – but somewhere inside me, when the sense of injustice and exhaustion subsides a little – i just KNOW that i have to do it. it’s not about whether they take advantage, but rather about whether we hold onto our empathy and generosity.

i will warrant a guess that you ‘know’ that you have to help – coudnt stop if you tried… just like me.

i just keep casting my bread upon the waters… and my breadbin tops itself up – not with croissants and lavash i must admit – but it does come home eventually.

just do what you believe is right – and if you are aware of the cost – good! it means that you obey universal law even when it’s tough. you’re a good friend, nossie… i hope those girls know that.

30 07 2007
nossie

Morty, Hubbe berates me constantly for strining them along. His attitude is “God helps those who help themselves” I agree to and extent but these women have been (or allowed themselves0 broken down and degraded through years of abuse and neglect. Sometimes I just want to take them by the scruff of the neck and shake them about but I’m too much of a softy to be really mean. Sounds like you are the same.

30 07 2007
nossie

I went out to a theatre production (fundraiser) with my 2 friends. Nice evening. Good show. As one does, I sponsored said friends. After the show, we went for a cup of coffee. I noticed one friend had had a mannicure with “tips” put on. Now I know that costs about R350….but when the time came to pay…there was no contribution forthcomming. I said nothing. Should I have?

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