I’ve come to understand that friendship is truly a gift that nothing can ever replace.

Friendship is just like a second family, the other group of people that will carry whenever you fall. Those who listens whenever you have something to let out. Those who understand you.

In my 18 years of life, I have met hundreds and hundreds of people. Some of them chose to come and go, giving friendship no chance to grow, and some chose to stay and built a strong friendship. The ones that are hard to let go of.

I was teaching Sunday School to 5 year old a few months ago when one of my students happen to cry. Apparently, her mother left her when the class started. You know how some of these little children are.First year in school, parents not around, it’s not easy to get used to it. I remember clinging to my mum during my first day of school.

So, my friend and I tried to cheer her up, but with no avail.

Then, the boy who was sitting next to her, started holding her hand and whispered something into her ear. The boy kept giving her a bright smile and soon she was joining him in laughter.

The innocence of that incident made me realize that all that she needed was only a friend.

Sometimes I wonder, how much have I actually valued my friendship? How much have I’ve shown my appreciation? Is it enough?

When I was younger, I had many different type of friends and we learn and shared things together. It was so easy to make friends when you’re so young. Makes me think, where did all that innocence go to? Was it banished in the process of growing up?

Slowly, as times goes by, we start to get picky with friends.This guy is not right, this guy is too this and that. Many reasons.

It’s not wrong to be picky with friends, because mixing with the wrong people can be disastrous. But at the same time, don’t practice discrimination or just being racist. I look around in my school and sometimes its sad to see that not everyone mixes together. You know what I mean. People have their own “clan”.

If we let ourselves be involved with building friendship with people from different ethnicity, we tend to learn more about their culture and lifestyle. Isn’t this what unity is all about?

It was hard for me at first to see my friends leaving at first to pursue their studies. But then again, that’s life. Took time to blend that in. Friends will have to leave one day, but that never meant that it’s the end of the journey. It could be the beginning of straightening that bond of friendship and as a test of loyalty as well. You might want question yourself on that matter.

Anyway, my advice however is to be open minded and receive friendship as a gift. A beautiful one. You never know that the stranger sitting next to you on your next flight back to Bintulu could have so much in common with you.

My favourite song about friendship is Queen’s “Friends will be friends”. Lyrics are meaningful and is fitted into a beautiful music composed by the band. You might want to hear it.