For the Bible Tells Me So


“For the Bible Tells Me So is a 2007 American documentary film directed by Daniel G. Karslake about homosexuality and its perceived conflict with religion, as well as various interpretations of what the Bible says about same-sex sexuality.

It includes lengthy interview segments with several sets of religious parents (including former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt and his wife, Jane, and the parents of Bishop V. Gene Robinson) regarding their personal experiences raising homosexual children, and also interviews with those (adult) children.” (From Wikipedia)

Here’s the Trailer:

and you can watch the full movie on Veoh here.

It was good, but not as impactful as I was expecting, given the awards and great reviews it had. But still good. I suppose it depends on the audience– it’s strongest message is the usual about not rejecting, abusing or discriminating against gays, which is of course a great message.

But for me it doesn’t stress enough on the how (ie what is considered ‘not rejecting, exactly?) and the why. What I mean is, if its mainly the extreme negative views and reactions that are being shown, it’s easy for someone with moderate views to dissociate themselves from it, while still holding on to their essentially anti-gay position. It would be easy for them to counter what’s shown with something like, ‘Well of course I wouldn’t throw bricks/scrawl hate messages/send hate letters etc. that’s wrong. but so is homosexuality. I wouldn’t reject the person, but I reject the lifestyle.’ So for me, it doesn’t focus enough on why that sort of attitude is not enough. It doesn’t go deep enough, detailed enough into the journeys of the individuals, of how they came to reconcile their sexuality with christianity, why they didn’t stick with some moderate middle ground.

Frankly, I think that ‘middle ground’ is incoherent. I think that that annoying phrase of ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner.’ is not possible to truly put into practice in the case of homosexuality because homosexuality is usually experienced as a pretty integral part of one’s identity.

When you say you ‘hate the lies but love the liar’, the liar is not going to feel aggrieved or offended if he is a normal, average person who thinks lying is wrong. He’s likely to ‘hate’ lying as well. He probably doesn’t see it as either an intergral or instrinsic  part of himself. When he admits that he is a liar, he is admitting that he had lied; he is admitting to the action of lying. And if he hates lying, he’ll hate it when he lies.

When you try to do the same thing for homosexuality, it doesn’t work because homosexuals experience it as being part of their identity. Saying “I hate homosexuality but I love you” would be like saying to a man, “I hate men, but I love you.” or “I hate Chinese, but I still love you.” Which would be incoherent. (Unless you tweak the meaning to ‘Usually I hate men, but I find that I love you.’, which significantly deviates from the original mantra in meaning.) Furthermore, I am homosexual no matter what I do or don’t do, so from the individuals point of view, I really can’t afford to hate it. There’s no escape from it, unlike lying; I’d have to hate myself constantly if I hate homosexuality.

The phrase (and tone/body language of the people who utter it) seem to imply that denouncing homosexuality is merely idealogy– in practice, they are still going to treat you with all the rights and respect and love due to any other human being; they’re not condeming you as a person, just the concept of homosexuality.

That, to me is incoherent and untrue as well. As long as you hold the belief that homosexuality is morally wrong, you will inevitably be hurting me with your belief. It will hurt when I know you do not support or approve of my relationships. It will hurt when I know you would prefer it very much if I were straight. It will hurt me when you support causes that will deny me my rights to living a normal happy life in the eyes of society and the law and when you refuse to support causes that are helping to fight for those rights. And if you are a friend or family member, all this will hurt a million times more.

So honestly? No matter how awesome a person you are, how non-judgemnetal and accepting and warm… I am still finding hard to not be offended when you tell me you think homosexuality is an abomination. I do think it’s as deep a personal insult as it can get.

Gandhi: Merely human. But also so much more.


I just finished watching the 3-hour, 1982 biographical film ‘Gandhi’.

Reading about Gandhi and watching that film really leaves one awe-struck. And inspired, so inspired. You’re just speechless that a person like that can really exist, especially in a world like ours. Yet… it also finds me in two minds about him and his beliefs.

There’s this part of me — the cynical, jaded part; the part that likes to think itself a realist — that thinks, are you for real? Sure, his message is inspiring but… is that really the best way to do things? Maybe some things are worth fighting for. Maybe if they had fought–physically fought– in the right way, it wouldn’t have taken so long to achieve their goals. And maybe the factors for such methods just happened to be right in those situations…maybe trying to bring them elsewhere– the holocaust for example– would have resulted in even worse harm and atrocities! I mean, you can’t stand up for your principles by saying ‘I’m willing to die for this cause!’ when that’s exactly what the enemy wants? Hitler wasn’t interested in keeping Jews oppressed, he just wanted them exterminated!

And… it just seems naive to think you can have no conflict all the time. Fighting seems so… ingrained. People seem primed to fight, especially in the face of injustice. Wouldn’t it seem wiser? more practical? to take that fact into consideration and work around it or try to prevent it rather than just tell them not to fight and expect them to obey?

He also has this quote about how history reads like it’s all fighting, but in reality fights are just interruptions from peace. Its just that only the fights tend to get recorded. In truth, peace is the default.

Yet too often, it really seems the other way around. That conflict is a core part of us and our society. Just the way the world works.

The parts depicting the riots and beatings and killings made me feel all that. And I cried at how evil man can be and wondered how those people could live with themselves.

Still, the idealistic part of me really wants to believe it. It echos his sentiment that love and truth always wins out in the end. It argues that it’s not this kind of thinking that’s too idealistic, it’s the world that’s too cynical and jaded. If everyone could see the truth in such statements and lived their life by them… it would work

And still, he’s only human. He has no magic answers. He just sticks to the simple truths that he does know.

“There is no such thing as “Gandhism,” and I do not want to leave any sect after me. I do not claim to have originated any new principle or doctrine. I have simply tried in my own way to apply the eternal truths to our daily life and problems…The opinions I have formed and the conclusions I have arrived at are not final. I may change them tomorrow. I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills.”  – Mahatma Gandhi

Regardless of what you think of his methods, you have to respect and admire him for being able to stay so true to his principles and not lose hope in love and truth. How did he do it? How did he not get angry, discouraged and jaded at the stupidity and evilness of men? He saw it all first hand and he never lost hope.

Hears to hoping that I, and all of us, can be just a little bit more like him. The world could be a much better place.

God, Gandhi and Ultimate Truth


Is there an Ultimate Truth? Truth with a capital ‘T’?

I feel that… an Ultimate Truth, if it existed, would have to be something deeply intertwined with the fabric of the universe, the fabric of reality. This Truth would have be intrinsically in the world, a part of the world. And the world has to be intrinsically that Truth.

Anything that claims to be true but stands apart from everything else cannot be truth, but mere delusion.

If truth is necessarily based on and based in reality, an Ultimate Truth would have to be based on and in all of reality.

Some say God is Truth.

They say that He is in the very fabric of the universe. When they look within themselves and at the world around them, they can’t help but see His hand in their hearts, in their lives, in the world.

I say that may be true for you, but for many others it’s not true at all.
There are people who see no such thing at all, all their lives.
There are people who peer at the world and into their hearts and see the opposite (ie that there is no god).
There are people who see the hand of different Gods.
There are people who, the harder they stared, the more God vanished from reality.

If God were the Ultimate Truth and in the very fabric of the universe, you would be able to find Him just by seeking, searching and exploring our reality, be it the physical reality, our mental reality or (most likely) a combination of the two. You wouldn’t need sacred texts. You wouldn’t need missionaries or evangelicals, at least not in the strongest sense of those words. The Truth should speak for itself, even if it takes some time to be heard.

“Divine knowledge is not borrowed from books. It has to be realized in oneself. Books are at best an aid, often even a hindrance. ” – Mahatma Gandhi

Texts may act like a textbooks and preachers like teachers: at their best they are but a guide to show you the things that are there and more importantly, to teach you how to find them for yourselves. Even if mathematics textbooks did not exist, 1+1 would still = 2. If the bible didn’t exist, how would we know of Jesus and his significance?

An Ultimate Truth, I feel, should be something elegant, something that transcends even as it is firmly grounded in reality. The simplest thing, even as it possess untold layers of complexity. It should unite rather than divide even as it highlights diversity.

Religion and the Gods of today’s major religions don’t feel to me like any sort of an Ultimate Truth.

Religion, the institutions of religion with their hierarchies and rules, the ancient sacred texts and holy rituals feel… too cluttered, too inelegant, too man-made. Religion is an agenda that needs pushing, it doesn’t speak for itself. How can something that is not intrinsic in reality, something that not everyone has the opportunity to discover for themselves, be an Ultimate Truth?

Which is greater, God or Truth?

If God existed, He must surely be Truth as well. If Truth existed, must it definitely be God?

“I have no God to serve but Truth.”
“I am devoted to none but Truth and I owe no discipline to anybody but Truth.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Ghandi is a very strong believer in God (although which God and what kind of God is slightly less clear) and he also says, repeatedly, that Truth is God, and God is Truth. If that is true, than there is no conflict: He is completely devoted to God, which is Truth, and Truth, which is God. But if we were to just suppose for a moment that it might not be true– if we were to, for a moment, separate God from Truth, the above quotes would seem to indicate Truth to be greater of the two.

“For me God and Truth are convertible terms, and if anyone told me that God was a God of untruth or a God of torture, I would decline to worship Him.” – Mahatma Gandhi

If God weren’t true, He would be… worthless. If Truth weren’t God… it would still be invaluable. Truth appears to be greater than God.

“But each (religion), in my judgment, embodies a common motivating force: the desire to uplift man’s life and give it purpose.”

“After long study and experience, I have come to the conclusion that (1) all religions are true; (2) all religions have some error in them; (3) all religions are almost as dear to me as my own Hinduism, in as much as all human beings should be as dear to one as one’s own close relatives. My own veneration for other faiths is the same as that for my own faith; therefore no thought of conversion is possible.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

What is this truth that Ghandi saw in all the religions?

What does Ghandi teach? What does Jesus teach? What does Buddha teach? What does any great moral leader that we know of teach?

Love. Humility. Selflessness. Forgiveness. Honesty.
A unity, a one-ness in the world, something unchanging beneath the changing, that unites all, that unites us.
Fearlessness/detachment from worldly cares, from what others think of you.
Acknowledging your own flaws and insignificance while constantly striving to be better, constantly seeking the truth. Constantly striving for that ideal (to be christ-like? to perfection, to truth? to enlightenment?).
Love, above all else.

I’m not sure if there is an Ultimate Truth or what it may be. But if it did exist, I imagine it would be something like love.

So abstract and complex that no words can ever fully capture its essence or adequately describe all it’s nuances.
Yet it is something so simple and foundational that any new-born child can experience it for themselves. Accessible to people of all ages, of all intellects and educational levels, from all cultures and times in history. Something universal that everyone can understand and relate to on such a deep and personal level.

Elegant yet complex; accessible to all yet experienced on an incredibly personal level; Self-evident and speaks for itself; heightens a sense of being unique and special, yet unifies all like nothing else can.

Because Gandhi believed in God, he limited his non-discriminating embrace to religions. I would bring it one step further so say that all these similarities that he sees in religions, all these truths, extend to ALL people. Anyone who is searching, anyone who is striving. And aren’t we all searching for meaning and purpose, all striving to be better people, for better lives?

As he believes that the different teachings of these religions are in fact, at the core, the same and thus all true, I believe that any religious teachings can also be ‘translated’ into non-religious terms, and remain equally true.

Because truth transcends.

Just keep moving…on the spot.


The memories. They won’t stop– they keep flashing past my eyes of their own accord. 

I’m getting so sick of treading on this worn out path, this rut. It feels like I’ve been stuck here forever. The same bleak scenery stretching on in all directions, the sticky muck and sharp, rocky debris underfoot. I know it hasn’t been forever, i know it hasn’t be that long, objectively. But sometimes it sure feels like it has been too long, too long.

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” One foot in front of the other, that’s it, I keep reminding myself. Often it’s necessary to tread through rough patches to get to your paradise, get through that darkest hour before you’re rewarded with the light of day. This is all a part of life. It may not be pleasant, but you can’t escape it and in retrospect it won’t be take bad. In retrospect you will probably even be able to appreciate it and be grateful for it. Probably.

Sometimes I think I catch a glimpse of a new horizon, a new path, a new landscape just around the bend, and I’d smile and feel assured that I must be on the right path, and all I have to do is keep pushing, I’m nearly there.

Then the next thing I know, it seems I must have taken a wrong turn, or accidentally trekked backwards, or maybe I went in a circle… I’m not even sure if I’m on the right path, maybe I should go where it branches off suddenly over there…

As someone wise and purple once said, If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t really matter which way you head in…

If i knew what the outcome is ‘supposed’ to be, if I knew which outcome was best, then I could pick myself up from here and now, and plop myself right there. And head straight there in a straight line, and start preparing myself NOW for that. Cut out all this messy bits, I don’t care so much for the figuring out any more, it stopped being fun. I don’t want to be stuck here forever, just give me the answer, whisk me to the next pitstop, so I can move on from there and get on with it.

But there’s no ‘Supposed to be’, there’s no ‘Right Answer’, there’s no ‘Designated Pitstop’.
It’s the journey that matters, not the destination. Rather, there IS no Destination.

Life is a journey. Like reading a book or playing a computer game. If you cut to the end just to find out what happens, it really can’t be said that’ve you’ve read the book or played the game, much less that you’ve enjoyed them. Cutting the chase would be missing the point entirely.

… Doesn’t make the frustration and impatience of feeling like you’re stuck go away though.

Early Morning Nature Jog


The weather this morning was lovely and cool, so I went for a jog, and along the way I saw…

kicauburung.com

A White-collared Kingfisher with it’s striking coat of blue. (A really awesome shot of it taken in the Singapore Botanical Gardens here.)

arkive.org

A couple of Brahminy Kites soaring in the air together. At the right angle they really look EXACTLY like the ‘stick birds’ we’re taught to draw as kids, you know that flattened ‘m’ shape? If you ever see an eagle soaring in the sky, its more likely than not this fella. Or perhaps the White-bellied Sea Eagle, especially if you’re near water.

ozanimals.com

A male Olive-backed Sunbird with his iridescent dark blue throat. Sunbirds are the Old World version of hummingbirds. One difference is that they can’t hover, or don’t hover as well as hummingbirds and so need a ‘landing perch’ when getting nectar from flowers.

flickriver.com

Quite a number of brilliant yellow Black-naped Orioles. I usually see them in pairs. Their flight is pretty to watch. x)

Heard and saw some white parrots flying overhead, but I don’t know what they are. Cockatoos? Looked a bit small for cockatoos. Maybe some Tanimbar Corrella? Which is actually also a kind of cockatoo oops, just not the kind most thinnk of when they hear ‘cockatoo’. There used to be a pair that always visited the tree outside my old house in commonwealth. Don’t know if they were what I saw today, but have a picture anyway. x)

A very cute little baby sparrow of some sort, hopping in the path in front of me.

en.wikipedia.org

Heard but didn’t see the Asian Koel with it’s distinctive call. It’s a kind of cuckoo, which means it is also A PARASITE. :O Cuckoos are really evil. We watched a video of them in class and its AMAZING(ly evil) how the new born baby cuckoo chick will push out the other eggs in the nest, how they manipulate the duped foster parents into feeding them more, and how they can grow SO FAT to like, three times the size of the foster parents, taking up the whole nest, AND STILL GET FED. D: D:

Okay, now I have to find the video for you. Hold on. Here you go. It’s not the one I saw, but it shows almost the exact same thing.

And of course the usual suspects:

treknature.combirdorable.combirdforum.netpbase.com

The Javan Mynah (which is EVERYWHERE, as compared to the Common Mynah, which is ironically nowhere near as common), some Eurasian Tree Sparrows, the Spotted Dove (which looks too similar, especially from afar, to the Zebra Dove) and many bubbly Yellow Vented Bulbuls.

Also saw a bunch of swifts/swallows/swiflets doing their thang, which is aerial feeding, which is when they swoop around and around continuously eating insects as they fly.

Most excitingly, I saw the Variable Squirrel again! This is the second time I’ve seen it. It’s quite distinct from the squirrel that we’ve been seeing all our lives all over the island, which is the Plantain Squirrel. (Or sometimes the Slender Squirrel).

In primary 3, my classroom was on the second floor and there was a rain tree directly outside our classroom window. I remember the episodes whenever a squirrel was spotted running through the branches: overly enthusiastic girls pointing out at the window going, ‘Squirrel! Squirrel!’ as the more excitable ones jumped out of their seats and raced to the window. A class affair. XD I can imagine the teacher rolling her eyes. XD

Anyway. The variable squirrel is apparently not native to Singapore though. Which is bad, because you never know how it may affect native fauna. It’s introduced from Thailand. Ah well. It’s still cute.

Did you know that there used to be a giant mliky coloured squirrel in Singapore? That apparently got EATEN to (local) extinction?! D: These humans. Eat everything that moves. The Cream-coloured Giant Squirrel, which is now most likely extinct in Singapore.

The picture in that link doesn’t do it justice at all, so here, have a picture:

Obviously, since I was jogging at that time, these pictures aren’t taken by me. (I wish they had been! That would be awesome.) Click on the pictures to go to where I got them from, and click on the name of the animal to find out a little more about it.

Most of these animals (minus the two squirrels and toe corrella) are really common in Singapore so if you haven’t seen them before, the next time you’re out and about keep your eyes peeled and I’m sure you’ll spot them all sooner rather than later. x)

After my jog I did take a walk around with my camera though, so I might make another post with pictures that I actually took. Mostly of plants though. Plants don’t fly away.

Well that was a very, very brief Singapore Common Wildlife 101. Hope you enjoyed that as much I as enjoyed catching glimpses of these creatures today! :D

Ripped Heart


Sudden, unexpected, violent–
All that’s left, a gapping hole.
The magnificent tree that had been seeded
that had taken root
that had been growing beautifully
under tender loving care
unceremoniously uprooted.

By what? who? where? how? why?
In shock and reeling from injuries
can only stare.
Stare and stare at where it used to be
as the wounded heart bleeds.

Reaching out frantically–
Where is it?
Just a mistake. A wayward wind, maybe.
Wrecking unintentional havoc.
A trial to be overcome.
Re-plant the tree, quick!
Put it back where it was, fill up that hole, tis not too late.
It’ll recover, and be stronger from this.

The tree… is gone.
Twas not a wayward wind.
I see that now.
Twas a deliberate act.
To rip, to hack, to chop, to destroy.
There’s no hope left for it.

Well, maybe– start again?
Here’s a seed from the beloved tree.
Should I place it in the hole?
Start a new chapter of the same book?
It’ll be good–mistakes made with the previous tree won’t be repeated.
It’ll outshine it’s predecessor.

The seed’s… not growing.
It’s not receiving the love or care it needs–
or perhaps it was a bad seed from the start.
Bad trees bear bad fruits which give us…
dead seeds. Not worth the time.

The gapping hole stares back.
Blacker, bigger
each time you look.
The edges harden–or are they healing?
No, they turn black from poison.

The darkest, roughest parts
are those in contact with the roots of the missing tree.
Once full of life and joy,
now only death.

It’ll be a slow and painful
but necessary process
to weed out every single last tendril
deeply entrenched and entangled
in the soil of the heart.

Great care is required
to not cause more damage
to let the heart heal
to extricate
every
last
memory

and send it the way of the obliterated tree.

(How inconsiderate
to take the tree but leave the troublesome roots.
Leave it there to develop and flourish
else don’t even start to grow it at all.)

A person so cruel, a person so heartless


A person so cruel, a person so heartless.
Would I have you in my life?

A person so cruel, a person so heartless.
Words and silences, alike are knives.

A person so cruel, a person so heartless?
Can a person really be?

Maybe just foolish, maybe just callous,
Maybe they can’t see what you see.

Is ignorance an excuse for murder?
Is weakness one for crime?
Is it intentions that matter,
Or actions alone that can drip with slime?

Is it enough that I deem it cruel;
Is it enough that I suffer hurt.
Does it matter what you see?
Does it matter what you think?

A person so cruel, a person so heartless.
That you may be, in my eyes.

A person so heartless, a person so cruel.
Maybe I don’t want you in my life.

Words are meaningless


Sometimes I wonder what’s the point of writing anything; it seems like anything I would have to say would have been said better, more succinctly, more poignantly, by someone else. And when you see it you just feel like pointing to it and going ‘Yes! that! exactly that!’ and there’s absolutely no need for you to add anything else.

Have you ever been in a mood where every song you listen to seems to be speaking directly to your heart? Every line you read seems directed specifically to you? Every wave, smile, wink or comment from a person seems to answer something you have been muling over? It’s a sign. A message. From god, or otherwise.

Words are so limiting, words are so meaningless. Words only mean as much as we let them mean. We give meanings to words, we give them power. And we tend to give them LOTS of power, so I guess words, in the practical sense, aren’t meaningless after all.

To someone who can’t read, they’re utterly meaningless, just squiggles. To someone who has a good command of the language, they could probably ‘read’ any piece of text in any number of ways. Different interpretations, so many possible nuances in between the lines. In certain cases it’s probably more than possible to read in it something that runs completely counter to what the original author intended.

No matter how good you are with words, can you really communicate your innermost experiences to another reader in a way that perfectly reflects your private reality?

We are only individuals, and are always necessarily alone in our own heads.

Whatever our output, it has to necessarily go through someone else’s perception — all of their knowledge, understanding, language skills, life experiences, personality and mood– before if arrives at them. Whenever we see, hear, read something it necessarily goes through the same process. We can’t help but see things through our own eyes, and our own eyes are coloured and tinted. We can’t help that, but once aware of it we can be on our guard to acknowledge its effects and don’t presume to know or understand more than we do.

When you read a text, it can say different things to different people. A simple song can resonate deeply with so many people.

This says less about there being omens, signs and messages form god in the world, and more about the way humans perceive, and how we are all more alike than we are different.

The most meaningful words are the most meaningless, for that can’t be quantified, qualified or proven and yet can be said by anyone at all.

I saw a picture of you hanging in an empty hallway. I heard a voice that I knew and I couldn’t walk away. It took me back to the end of everything; I taste it all, I taste it all…the tears. again.

Outside the rain’s falling down–there’s not a drop that hits me. Scream at the sky but no sound is leaving my lips. It’s like I can’t even feel after the way you touched me. I’m not asleep but I’m not awake after the way you loved me.

I can’t turn this around; I keep running into walls that I can’t break down. I said I jut wander around with my eyes wide shut because of you. I’m a sleepwalker. 

Let me out of this dream. 

Everywhere that I go, I see another memory. And all the places we used to know, they’re always there to haunt me. I walk around and I feel so lost and lonely. You’re everything that I want. But you don’t want me. 

I’m a sleepwalker. Let me out of this dream.

A similar feeling to my Limbo.

What makes a friendship?


What makes a friendship?

I’ve often asked myself that question, and, in my head, stared quizzically at my friends, trying to figure out the common denominator between them, why they are my friends.

Do you choose your friends? I certainly don’t, not to a large extent anyway. I tend to be very passive in the way I lead my life, and pretty shy and anti-social in the way I interact with people. I’m never the one to first approach someone else.

How did my friends become my friends? I don’t really know. I guess it tends to be a mixture of being brought together by circumstance and then staying together, becoming friends due to the friendliness of one or both parties. Which is then cemented first by the decisions to make the effort, to keep in touch, and later by the trust and understanding that time helps build.

So what makes a friendship, or any kind of relationship? What’s the crucial ingredient, what’s important to you?

Do your friends (or girlfriend or boyfriend or sister or brother) have to share your values, your ideals, your political or religious beliefs?
Do your friends (or girlfriend or boyfriend or mother or father) have to have the same tastes in music, same tastes in movies, same tastes in books, same tastes in food?
Do they have to enjoy singing, if you love to sing? running, if you love to run? gaming, if you love to game? playing basketball, if you love basketball? rock climbing, if you love rock climbing? photography, if you love photography? anime, if you love anime? being outdoors, if you enjoy being outdoors?
Do they have to spend a certain amount of time with you to qualify? Chat with you on the phone several times a week? Bug each other online every other day? Hang out every week or so?
Or do they have to meet certain criteria you’ve set down for whom you want to be friends with, or whom you want has a romantic partner? Does he need to own a car? Buy you flowers? Call you every night? Be of a certain social status (would you be friends with the weirdos and the outcasts?) Would you be friends with someone much richer, or much poorer than you? someone of a different race, perhaps, or different culture? Do they need to fit your stereotype of what a boyfriend or a friend should be?

I suppose that most of the time you would share some of these, many of these, with your friends. After all, it’s probably a common interest or activity that brought you together in the first place. And if two people were really completely different as night and day with no common ground, it would be difficult to carry a conversation, much less sustain a friendship.

And yet I dare say that NONE of that matters at all, not really. None of it is what makes the friendship, none of it is what defines the friendship and keep it going.

I have friends whom I hardly ever see, hardly ever speak to, because of our busy schedules and because we’re only in the same country once or twice a year. Friends who differ completely from me in their ideological beliefs, their way of doing things. Friends who don’t enjoy the same activities I enjoy, whose favourite activities I have no interest in. It may even be hard for me to explain what we actually do or talk about when we get together.

But it doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that when we do meet, the meeting is the point, not the activity. When we do meet, we spend the time enjoying each others’ company. Certain people you just click with instantly, finding yourselves on the same wavelength. When we do meet, we feel at ease, relaxed and happy. Conversation flows easily, and even if it doesn’t, that’s fine and we enjoy comfortable silences. We trust each other enough to be ourselves, to speak of the things on our minds and in our hearts, unafraid of rejection or judgement. We understand each other with just a look or brief comment, but we accept and support even when we don’t fully understand. We love each other enough to care, enough to try; enough to make the commitment to always be there.

That’s what matters to me; that’s what relationships are made of. Every other obstacle is secondary, every other problem is just a stepping stone to be overcome. Because when you have that, nothing can touch it and nothing can replace it.

Circumstance allows your paths to cross. From there, it starts with a feeling, maybe. A spark, or some kind of comfortable compatibility where you find each other pleasant enough to be around. Time builds on that and as you get to know each other better, trust, understanding and love grows. Cement that with the active, constant decision to commitment from both parties and you’re good for life.

Compatibility. Love. Trust. Understanding. Acceptance. And mutual commitment.

When you have something like that in your life, where things have gone more than right at every step and stage, when every component is strong… cherish it. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t throw it away. It’s not that easy to come by.