Friendship Is a Privilege

Friends in Viñales, Cuba. By Donna Bader (USA).

By Irina Pino

HAVANA TIMES – Being with a friend is the most perfect state for a human being. This kind of companionship is fulfilling for meals, walks, music, but the most substantial thing is conversation, exchanging ideas, knowledge, with complete sincerity.

Veronica Vega, a colleague and friend, tells me about the value of loyalty. Sincerity, loyalty… both words mean the same thing. Truth is an expression of love.

We’ve known each other since 2011, we are both writers, we have a spiritual connection. I feel like I can talk to her about anything, and even though we have different opinions sometimes, we always respect each other.

We live on opposite sides of the city, but we still carve out time to see each other. Every meeting is different. We’ve held onto our friendship, even more so now during these troubling times when people only think about how to survive and put their feelings aside.

There are two sisters who live in Cojimar, they are pure gold, intelligent and genuine. They have proven their friendship to me in many ways. They are comfort, life is more harmonious with them. It’s a shame public transport is so bad that I can’t go to visit them very regularly.

I’ll leave some quotes about friendship here for you:

 “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” Saint Thomas Aquinas

“My friends are my estate.” Emily Dickinson.

“For what is your friend that you should seek them with hours to kill? Seek them always with hours to live.” Kahlil Gibran.

This last one is from Jose Marti: “Friendship is greater than love in that it creates no desires, nor the fatigue of having satisfied them, nor the pain of abandoning the temple of gratified desires for that of new ones.”

Everything becomes simpler when we talk our woes over with someone. Our friends come to our aid and save us.

It’s a person we choose, for both the good and the bad.

It isn’t only someone we see at parties, concerts, in public spaces, with an alcoholic drink in hand. This is a fleeting alliance, something pretend.

Nor the person that only comes to you for personal benefit. To see what they can “scrape off”, like we say here on the street.

The most disappointing thing is being betrayed by somebody you love. It hurts to know the other person is wrong, and they don’t even have the courage to stand up to you and clear up any doubts.

It’s an extremely low blow when this alleged friend spreads false rumors about you and turns your world upside down, without giving you the right to defend yourself.

Read more from Irina Pino’s diary here.

Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.