There’s an image that’s been doing the rounds of social media for the past few days – one by Ashwin Santhosh (IndianClassyPeople.com).
Here is the image in question:
I get what he means to say, and I get why people are reacting with comments that can be summarised to, “True.” I even feel for the people who can only reminisce about old friends because they got too busy to call or stay in touch – and I’m putting that out there right now.
But I can’t agree with it. Here’s why.
Life gets in the way – always. There are bills to pay, a job to do, a boss to answer to, housework to look at, kids/parents/siblings to look after… or even your own demons to fight. Everyone has something that’s going on, and that they’re trying to cope with. That’s what happens when you become an adult.
So yeah, people aren’t ‘always free’ for anyone anymore. But this is where the response, “No, anything important?” becomes so critical. The way I look at it, that statement is basically saying, “No, I’m not free. But I am taking the time to ask if it’s something important because I still care. So I may not have all my time to give to you, but I’m there if you really need me. If it’s important, I’ll put things on hold, or get back to you as soon as I can. But I will hear you out, I will be there for you.”
What matters then is how you, as an adult and as a friend, choose to respond. Do you put your emotion and pride in the way and say, “No, nothing important,” while cursing in your heart the state to which your relationship has devolved? Or do you be as raw and true to yourself and the other person as you were when all your time was truly, freely available and say, “Yes, it’s important. And I need you to be there. So put all that other real-world responsibility on hold for a minute, and hear me out.”
The way I see it, it’s not always the lack of time or the existence of distance that forces people to drift away. Oftentimes, it’s choosing to not be who you have always been that makes that drift happen.
What do you think? What would you do if you called an old friend and got an, “I’m busy,” response when you need them? Share your thoughts in the comments below.