30 Days to Inspiration : Be A Friend

March is celebrated as Spiritual Wellness Month. It is a time to reflect on the values, ethics and morals that add value and give meaning to your life. Here at diGJamaica, we’re going on a quest for 30 days of inspiration: extracting the common principles from different religions and systems of belief that help their followers to find inner peace, purpose and direction. Each day for the month of March, we will be sharing another principle with you. Join us as we embark on this journey to spiritual wellness.

What we’ve covered so far:

Be A Friend

We all want to have great friends in our lives. We want people around us who love us unconditionally, who don’t judge us by our flaws, who make time for us and take care of us, tell us the truth and make us feel good about ourselves. We want friends who we can do life with in very real ways. But how many of us have stopped to consider what kind of friend we are being to the people around us? Are you a good friend? Are you caring? Do you make time for your friends? Do you love them no matter what? Do you make time for them and listen to them and affirm them in positive ways? Do you let them know how much they mean to you and treat them with kindness and respect?

In one way or another, every major religion in the world encourages us to do for others the things that we want them to do for us. This principle applies to friendships. If you want good friends, you ought to be a good friend. One thing you will gain from this is that people will value and appreciate you more, precisely because they feel valued and appreciated by you. Here are five ways to be a good (or better) friend:

  1. Be a good listener. Don’t speak. Just listen. Don’t be the person who takes over the conversation and makes it about themself every.single.time. Be a good listener. Give the speaker your undivided attention, and then ask questions that show you’re listening and check to ensure that you’ve heard and understood what is being said correctly.
  2. Make time for your friends. You want people to make time for you? Make time for them! Go to important events in their lives. Call them just to see how they’re doing, just to say hi, just to let them know that you appreciate them. And when you sense that they need your presence, make the time. You make time for the things that are important to you. You make excuses to avoid the things that aren’t.
  3. Empathise. Especially when your friends are going through difficult situations, be the one to empathise. Be the one to reach out and let them know that you are with them, and even if you don’t understand exactly what they’re going through, you understand the emotions they are feeling and you empathise with that.
  4. Respect boundaries. Different people have different boiling points. Some people can take a lot of ribbing. Some can’t. Some will be open about everything going on in their lives, others will be more private about things. Learn to respect the boundaries set by your friends.
  5. Show love. Don’t just tell them you appreciate them. Show them. Show it through acts of kindness and caring. It could be as simple as a hug. It could be as extravagant as a blimp in the sky. Ensure that, as often as you can, you show your friends how much they mean to you.