On friendship, Singles Awareness Day (SAD), Valentine’s Day

“The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I used to think of myself as “a professional friend”. I would always be (I always am) at my friends’ reach. I have (and no, I’m not gloating) saved countless lives (I have been a designated driver since I first got my license), and always tried to preclude my friends from getting into way more trouble. My friends always called me, since childhood, when they had issues and I’ve been privileged to be part of so many people’s lives. I count my life in friendships, not in years.

Valentine window

Credit: Heather On Her Travels on Flickr.

For me, Valentine’s Day is an actual day to celebrate. I have someone very special in my life with whom I have celebrated this day for almost a decade. We do dinner, watch a movie, spend time together. We love this day because of what it means. But in Mexico, I celebrated Valentine’s Day by doing something sweet for my (too many) friends. I bought them cards, stuffed animals. I spent a small fortune in phone calls across the continent and up North (I have a lot of friends worldwide).

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”
- Henry Ford

As I’ve grown older, my circle of real and trusted friends has grown smaller. True, I have acquaintances, colleagues, buddies, but my friends’ circle is MUCH smaller than you would think. Particularly, friends that I can call upon and ask for help. THAT is perhaps the biggest measurement of how close I am to a friend. If I ask for help or for an opinion/advice, the friendship is definitely very strong.

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”
- Helen Keller

February 14th is dreaded by a lot of folks because, I think, it has been framed as a Hallmark holiday, focused on couplehood, being together with someone else. That’s why some people instead celebrate SAD (Singles Awareness Day). In Mexico, the day is celebrated as the day of love and friendship. And for me, it’s always been about celebrating friendship.

Sunset in Steveston with my best friend: my mother

I hope this Valentine’s Day, my friends know how much I love them. I get sometimes so overwhelmed with work that I’m not always the best at demonstrating how much I care. But I will definitely carve some time in my rather busy schedule to send notes and texts of love and care to my beloved friends, because they are worth it. Because friendship is worth it.

Because I may not be a professional friend, but I am certainly a very good friend.

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Related posts:

  1. Happy Valentine’s Day: Celebrating love, friendship by being vulnerable and wholehearted
  2. A reflection on honesty, ‘fake friendships’, social media and the meaning of friendship #FriendFriday
  3. Friendship in the context of social networking sites
  4. The price of friendship – Guest post by Nancy Zimmerman
  5. Friendship is more than online connections

Comments (3)

jordanFebruary 13th, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Singles Awareness Day so needs to be re-branded. SAD? I’m just not motivated to get behind that although I am single and happy with my friends.

How about day of LAF? Love and Friendship of course! I know you didn’t coin the SAD acronym but maybe you can fight it!

GeoffFebruary 14th, 2012 at 12:09 am

“As I’ve grown older, my circle of real and trusted friends has grown smaller.” – I think this happens to many people. I am experiencing the same thing. Thank you for the post Raul! Happy Valentines’ Day.
Geoff recently posted..“Taking” by Laundryman, the Vancouver Electronic Band, jam Feb 10 2012

KirstyFebruary 15th, 2012 at 7:15 am

While so many people do feel sad and miserable on V-Day, I’m with Jordan on ditching the SAD acronym. LAF is much much better. It’s too bad English makes no distinction between romantic love and the other kinds. It’s the other kinds that suffer on Valetine’s Day. Perhaps a spot of linguistic imperialism is in order.

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