Somethings you cannot say


It’s not that I don’t believe you– I do.

I believe that you’re not well, that you genuinely can’t come, that you do wish you could… to an extent.

But it takes its toll, and it makes me feel that I’m lesser in your eyes. I’m not a priority.

 

It’s not that I don’t think you’re good people, friends I mean.

I think you’re swell, and I think you do enjoy my company as I do yours… but it’s not 50/50, is it?

It takes its toll, the things unsaid and unremembered. It makes me feel lesser, I’m not your priority, that you don’t really have concern for me.

 

It makes it hard for me to fully trust you the way I would like to. Trust you with my time, effort and affection. It makes me want to build a wall, to keep myself safe, treat you as a arms-length-friend at best.

 

And you? I just can’t.

still can’t. Perhaps I forever can’t.

I wish I could surrender, give up, quit you and just never see you again, in any context.

Rather than look at you now

and teether between HATING everything you are and LOVING everything you are
between not caring at all and caring too much.

I don’t want
to hear of the things you do
and not know whether to roll my eyes and ridicule them
or laugh and smile endearingly
or just to be completely ambivalent and unaffected.

When I don’t look directly at you
When I don’t make conversation
When I don’t ask about the things in your life
When I ignore, act flippant and even cold

Do you know? That it’s conscious, deliberate? That it’s not because I don’t know what to say, what to ask? That it’s not because I don’t care?

It’s just because I can’t. Just can’t, still can’t, forever can’t.

I had a thought the other day
that some scars are permanent.

Dear you, I will always love you.


Dear baby,
Dear you,

It’s your birthday soon. And also the one year mark of our breakup; my time is almost up. Although I guess I’ve come to realize that I’ve been playing this game by myself.

Dear you,

I want to wish you happy birthday. How have you been doing? I hope you’re doing well. …or perhaps I don’t mean that fully?

Dear you,

I heard you’re in UK on exchange. Jealous, much! And here I am, rotting away in this miserable place. All that time together, not even a chance to go to Malaysia and now you’re in the UK.

Dear you,

I no longer think of you everyday—well, I still think of you often, but the thoughts are much, much less loaded. More matter of fact. They come and go and I don’t pay particular notice to them.

Dear you.

Sometimes I still think negative thoughts—it’s really beyond my comprehension and it really hurts me to think that— you seem to have no inclinations whatsoever to reach out to me. That it’s fine with you if we never speak or meet again, or if I never forgive you. Like you have genuinely successfully earased me completely from your consciousness, and you’re fine with that. Don’t you at least want to be friends? You’re okay with leaving things in this state?

Dear you.

Sometimes, when I think those thoughts, I get angry. Why should I always be the one bothering? Why should I always be the one reaching out? If you don’t care enough even to give me proper replies or return me my stuff even though you promised to, why should I bother? I should just write you off the way you seem to have written me off.

Dear you.

I try to remind myself that… we shouldn’t fixate on the actions of others. We can’t control those. And you’ll never know the full story. Instead, concentrate more on our own actions—the ones we can control. So it doesn’t matter what you do, I should care about what I want to do. What do I want to do?

Dear you.

I thought I was ready, but when I found out that you’re in the UK—when I imagined you having the time of your life, without me–it was an unexpected blow. Maybe I’m not as ready as I thought I was…

Dear you.

Sometimes I wonder, if reaching out to you—wanting to be friends again—is the ‘Right’ thing to do. Even if this, “We must remain friends no matter what happens.”, was my first promise to you and me, said with the greatest conviction. If it’s so difficult for me, maybe I should just forget it. Who says that’s the ‘Right’ thing to do anyway? People move on, move away. It doesn’t matter. And isn’t it possible that my desire to meet up isn’t entirely innocent, doesn’t stem solely from ‘wanting to be friends’? Should I forget it?

Dear you,

I miss you. Do you miss me? Do you think of me?

Dear you,

It’s been nearly a year. Am I ready?

I guess it doesn’t matter so much if it’s the ‘Right’ thing to do (afterall, there’s no such thing) as much as… it’s what I think I should do. I can’t picture any other path that wouldn’t feel… wrong. Like I’m running away.

Dear you,

I’ll going to have to keep my promise to myself, regardless of what you do or don’t do.

Dear you,

I miss you. I hope you’re doing well.

Dear you,

I will always, always love you.

And I have been learning to be okay with that.

Brain on breakup; forgiveness, memories and betrayal


When we first decided to give it a go, there was one thing that I really wanted to make sure of, a promise I kept repeating in my head to myself that we have to keep: that no matter what happened, we would remain friends.

Our friendship was too important to me and the dynamics of our little clique too precious to me to risk. Besides, I really never understood how or why ex-partners could become enemies. It’s ridiculous and absurd! Surely if you’ve been that close, been that intimate and know each other that well… all that can’t just disappear! How can understanding and love flip 360 into irreconcilable differences and hate? So for whatever reasons you have to part, but surely you can stay friends. Chemistry between people (how well you click) doesn’t just vanish.

曾经心疼为何变成陌生?

Ha. ha. ha. This is irony laughing at my naive, foolish younger self.

For all of my previous convictions, all of my mental gymnastics trying to make sense of the chaos in my head, all of my musings and waxing lyrical about the nature of love, unconditional love and forgiveness… I realize that I’m hardly any closer at all to forgiving her, and I still have no idea how to be friends.

You think you’ve come so far, so far
But you’re not any closer, no you’re not any closer at all

I recently watched Tipping the Velvet, a 3-part BBC Tv series based on Sarah Water’s novel of the same name. When the main character found out that her first love was cheating on her, she literally ran down the streets shouting, “You said you loved me! You said we’d be together forever!” over and over and over. (Okay, on re-watching the scene, I see that I’m exaggerating a little, but that’s how I remembered it!) Even after so many month, I still find myself slipping back into that.

but you said…!
but you said…!
but you said…!
but you said…!

All those promises, both implicit and explicit.

Not just the promises, but words said during the break up. After the break up.

all the things she said, all the things she said, running through my head, running through my head, running through me head… 

And the memories. Memories that keep playing of their own accord, over and over.

I like how they did the constant flashbacks in Tipping the Velvet, with the most poignant memory replaying and persisting, a shorter and shorter snippet, while the rest fade. That’s exactly how it’s like. A few favourite memories play and replay, and soon those are all you can remember. You’d think that the more you recall something, the better you’d remember it, but each time you pull it from memory, it’s a brand new retelling. Little bits dropped, little bits added; it’s changed. It feels more vivid, yes. But at the price of accuracies in the details. It loses it’s nuances. It becomes exactly what you’re remembering it for. ‘Exaggerated’, more than ‘vivid’. If you remember it as Great, it slowly turns golden: the best example of great. Remembered for sorrow, it’ll take that shape.

I used to think that no matter what happens in the present or the future, at the very least the memories are yours to keep. No one can steal away the good times you’ve already had. You can cherish them always. I see I was wrong here too. Things that happen now, or in the future, can reach back into the past to colour and change the meanings of memories…

What am I supposed to make of them now? What am I supposed to do with them? How do I make sense of them? I really don’t know.

All those promises, implicit and explicit.

I guess you can’t trust words. You can’t trust people. If you can’t trust words from the one you trust the most… if you can’t trust words that are said with deepest sincerity and love… then what’s left that you can trust?

And I guess that’s why it’s so hard for ex-partners to remain friends, if the break up is not a mutual decision. That’s why it’s so difficult to forgive.

SHE BETRAYED ME.

the closest you can get
sticking the knife
the deepest it can get
and the most unexpected it can get.

It’s hard to get over betrayal.

Swim against the current, run against the wind.


Stay strong, stay true.

I’ve just finished watching the season finale of series 6 of this UK television drama Waterloo Road, which centres around a school and it’s students and teachers.

One of the larger story arcs that has been taking place involved one of the teachers, Francesca, getting involved with a student, Jonah. Since it is not just taboo but illegal for a teacher to ‘take advantage’ of a student in this way, you can imagine there was a lot of sneaking around, being paranoid and alternating between ‘I/we can’t do this. It’s wrong. It’s too difficult, too risky. It’s not possible.” and “It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. I love you and all’s fine as long as we have each other.” All this cumulated in ep19 and 20 with (SPOILER ALERT!) them being found out, Francesca being suspended and charged along with pending imprisonment, and then the two of them running away to get married (before being arrested and brought back). Makes for great TV drama indeed!

The whole thing could easily parallel a closeted gay relationship; constantly watching your back and being afraid of being found out; the way you act around each other in public, a necessary facade; the lies that come with keeping a secret; and huge secrets, even from those closest to you; the conviction that you’ll be ostracised and worse if anyone knew; knowing that no one will understand; all that negativity, risk and adverse concequences being offset by the joy you feel when you’re together…

To be honest, most of the arc made me really dislike both characters, possibly precisely because I could see myself in a similar situation so easily. They were being retarded and brainless! Too careless and impulsive and immature! C’mon guys, it’s hard but not impossible! Can’t you sacrifice some short term pleasures for the long term happiness!?

At the very first signs of it, when Francesca was still trying to stop it from even starting, and then stop it from progressing… To me she didn’t try nearly hard enough. Later on, when they were well into it; Acting so suspicious, doing really stupid/risky things, not taking enough or proper precautions, and not planning or talking about things seriously… why couldn’t they have kept it a secret until Jonah graduated? Like I said, it’s difficult, (in the sense of being mentally and emotionally draining,) but not impossible, (like I cannot NOT speak to you during school hours.) I’ve been there! …or maybe I haven’t, since we didn’t share a working/schooling physical space and weren’t closeted with most mutual friends.

But these last two episodes really brought me over to their side. What was once blind, stupid impulsiveness has become an inspiration: If i were in a similar situation, with hostility and disapproval on all fronts with no sign of respite in sight, would I be so brave to continue to stand firm for what I believe in, and do what I think is right?

To lose your family, your friends, your job, your community, you life and still stand strong?

At least they can get married. Part of me thought. Even if gay people were to run off to some other country to get married, that piece of paper would have absolutely no power back home. We’d still have absolutely nothing. And in time, when the scandal has blown over, they will become just any other couple, blending in. They can rebuild. Gay will always be gay, and will always stand out. 

What would you do? What would I do? Would I be willing to give up my family, my home and friends if it came down to it, for the person I love? Would “giving up” your family, home and friends even be the ‘Right’ decision to make?

Here’s my stab at it:

You’re not ‘giving up’ anything. You’re merely standing by what you believe in, you’re merely staying true to yourself. And if, because of that, other people fall away, that’s hardly your doing, your choice, nor your fault. And if they should, in time, change their minds about accepting who you are, you’d more than welcome them back with open arms. The only ‘giving up’ would be if you gave up on your dreams, your beliefs, your values and yourself.

The only choice you should be making is to stand by what you believe in, and to stay true to yourself. Leave judging and rejecting of people to someone else, that’s not your choice to make.
—-

I guess this is the follow up to my Charles and Erik post that I’ve been meaning to do for the longest time, but hadn’t truly reached the conclusion in my mind and heart. I knew where it was heading all along; It just took me a while to get there. Am I there yet? Maybe I still have a little way to go… maybe we’ll always have a little way to go. You always have something to better, something to work towards. That’s life.

To recap my entry, I was envisioning Charles Xavier as someone holding a belief (presumably the Right one): that mutants should ultimately live in harmony with humans ie humans are friends, and Erick (Magneto) holding a differing belief (presumably the Wrong one): that mutants and humans can’t be in harmony ie humans are the enemy. And these differing beliefs, while not directly pitting them against each other, were different and serious enough to change them from friends to enemies. And I wondered where such a line would be drawn? What kind of differing beliefs would make turning against a friend justifiable, and inevitable?

Specifically, I was using this fictitious example to help me think about these these differing beliefs: homosexually is morally wrong / homosexuality is NOT morally wrong; religious beliefs in general.

Soon after I wrote the post, a friend pointed this out to me: If i insist on alienating or cutting ties with people who think homosexuality is Wrong, I would have turned into Magneto. It’s not, as I was envisioning, Xavier vs Magneto representing pro-gay and anti-gay. But rather, mutants as homosexuals, humans as heterosexuals and Magneto the one who has turned evil, hating all humans for the evil deeds of a few. So the right answer, according to X-Men? Be Charles, and not lose hope. Be Charles, and reach out even to the ones kicking you down. Be Charles, for how else would humans be able to know that mutants aren’t all bad?

And I also realized: neither Charles nor Eric ever rejects each other? They never said, “You’re not with me? Then you’re against me. From this day forth you are my sworn enemy and I hate your guts and nothing will change that.” Wasn’t it more like, “Friend, join me. No? Well, I’m sorry, friend, I have to go. But the invitation stands.”? Being ‘enemies’ only as a technicality of finding themselves on opposite sides.

Well, I’m not an X-men fanboy or fanatic, so forgive me if I’m straying from canon and projecting my own ideas onto the characters.

But… the lesson never seems to change does it? Be a Gandhi. Be a Jesus (ok tbh I’m still feeling slightly sore about Jesus/christianity). Be a Charles.

That is… hold on to what you know is true. Stand up for what you know is right. And most of all, love and accept everyone. Leave the judging and rejecting to the one who has all the answers (or thinks he has all the answers, anyway.)

I’ll Pray for You


Sometimes, I find myself envying the Christian (or religious) option of saying that phrase, like when a friend is sharing about something that’s troubling them, especially when it’s not something you can do anything about.

That single phrase puts across so succinctly so many aspects that I’d struggle to express in secular terms. It conveys:

– that you empathise with and feel their worry
– that you really wish and hope that things are all right or will be alright
– that you’re concerned for them and they’re in your thoughts
– that you’re sending positive vibes and feelings their way
and all this would provide a measure of comfort and reassurance to the other party in itself, never mind the added bonus for a believer in intercessory prayer that brings God further into the picture.

Previously (before I became this interested in the issue of religion), I used to wonder to myself if I should feel offended, grateful, or simply ignore it when Christian friends of mine said that phrase to me.

Offended: “No, please don’t pray for me. I don’t need the help of a god I don’t believe in, or having you feel good about yourself for praying when in reality you’ve done nothing to help.”

Apathetic: “Oh, it’s just something they say. Don’t think too much about it, smile and be polite.”

Grateful: “Whatever differences in beliefs, that phrase still shows and expresses concern, and that you’ll be in their thoughts in a positive way. So be grateful for their kind wishes and that they’d care enough to do that.”

Most of the time I’d choose to be positive and go with the last one.

Just some random thoughts.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying that you can’t express the same things with secular language; in fact you can probably do it in a better and more meaningful way. But for someone like me who often feels awkward and don’t know what to say even when I sincerely do emphatise very much with the other person, such a simple phrase that can be used in all situations and conveys so much seems to do the job very well. 

Silence and Apathy


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

I really like this entry, Sword and Shield. Especially the first paragraph, which I identify with a lot.

“I was never one to worry. I was never one to be concerned. I didn’t even have goals, dreams or aspirations. I just went with the flow, happy to get by.”

That was me, too. I was carefree, pretty easy going (or you could say ‘apathetic’) about most things. Let bygones be bygones. There were Issues that I was concerned about and obvious ‘wrongs’ in the world that I wished would be righted, of course. But for most part I assumed the world would get on with it, that these wrongs would surely be righted in time, no excessive worrying needed on my part.

The one thing that riled me up was usually conservation issues, because as I learnt more from my classes, it became apparent how ignorant the majority of the population are to these issue, how completely blind they are to that fact that these things truly matter, that there weren’t lofty ideals but a life and death reality, of mankind, our planet and all living things.

It was very different for me for idealogical issues. Those I tended to shrug my shoulders and trot out the excuse of my ignorance.

Perhaps the worst were those issues I WAS sure about, but never thought to take a stand on. Because I assumed that the world and society would get along fine. That, however slowly, society was always marching in the direction of progress. You can’t rush these things, just wait.

Obviously as a gay person I have to know all about its taboo nature in society; I necessarily have to face, it if not everyday, then at least pretty often, right?

And yet somehow I still remained blind. I was frustrated by the inconveniences in my life, but not outraged by any injustice. I would happily go for the occasional LGBT-related event, but do little more then smile from the sidelines. I accepted it. I saw it as something that was merely social taboo, not the fault of any one or anything, but just convention. Just the way it’s always been. And a way that is changing, slowly but surely.

Most people my age have no problems at all with it, I thought. It mostly only the older generation who are more conservative, more set in their views and who have little contact of any kind with the LGBT world. All they know of them are the occasional stereotype falsehoods portrayed in the media. In other words, the problem will slowly but surely fade away as there is greater exposure and education regarding LGBT issues.

Recently, it has come as a great blow to me to realize– to really realize– that quite a few of my close friends do think it is an ‘abomination’, that I am an ‘abomination’. Not that I didn’t ‘know’ of their disapproval, I just never thought about it, and the full meaning of it never sunk in. To be honest, I just didn’t care.

I was ‘tolerant’ and ‘accepting’, I ‘respected’ other people’s beliefs. What they thought and believe is their business, as long as they’re not standing in my way. And despite my friends obviously breaking my stereotype of being ‘old, ignorant and uneducated’, I still viewed LGBT rights in the world as something inevitable that was coming soon, that there was nothing but out-dated thinking standing in the way, and mostly due to inertia.

When they tell me that…they’ve in fact never searched into this issue at all (despite holding their unwavering views about it), and despite having known me and my orientation for so many years… I feel like a failure. In all these years, I’ve never caused them to even wonder about or question their position.

I suppose that ends now. Silence and apathy can be as deadly as hate and ignorance. Social change only happens because people dare to ask for it. The least I can do is make sure that people in my circle have access and exposure to the other side of the coin, that I help to disseminate the voice of this social movement.

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.

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.

Charles and Eric


I’ve always thought that I don’t choose my friends. I am friends with anyone who wants to be my friend. If you’re talking to me, I will talk to you. And once I consider you a friend, you’re a friend for life. And this seemed the right way to do things.

Maybe I was wrong.

I’ve always thought the details of friendship didn’t matter, friendship should resemble a mother’s unconditional love. How often you meet up, what activities you do or don’t do together, your likes ,dislikes and beliefs, they shouldn’t really matter. I’m not going to renounce a friendship just because a friend likes music I hate or adopts a life philosophy that’s different from mine. Friends means friends, right?

Maybe that’s wrong.

Recently, a Christian friend of mine was discussing the idea that Christians should surround themselves with other Christians… that they should spend more time with fellow Christians, that their closest friends should be Christian. Her point of view was that it was only natural and common sense: you would hang out with people who shared common goals and ideas with yourself. If you wanted to be better at basketball, you’d hang out with other people who similarly wanted to train their basketball skills. If you were concerned with having a life centred on Christ, only other Christians could help you with that. She also linked me to this article, Should Christians be Friends with Non-Christians.

I found the article horrendously offensive, and I was really hurt and offended by what she was saying. That view is ridiculously discriminatory, selfish and elitist, I argued. And if you were to apply that kind of logic to any other situation, any other group of people, you would think so too.

But… maybe I was wrong.

Maybe she was right.

Maybe some differences are too fundamental that you have to draw a line to avoid compromising on your own values. Maybe you should consciously surround yourself with positive people, with people who have the right ideas.

Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr were good friends. But their differing beliefs put them at direct odds with each other. They turned from friends to enemies, not because they couldn’t get along or because they didn’t care for each other, but solely because they had opposing view points.

If you find yourself and a friend on the opposite sides of an issue — an issue that you feel strongly about and will not compromise on– can you still be friends?

What do you think?