Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed

This phrase has often confused me as it could mean many things. I decided to research the actual meaning as it could be fitting title for what I’m about to talk about, or rather question.

The quote below is taken from The Phrase Finder:

“This is one of the phrases in the language that is interesting because there are various interpretations of the meaning. Firstly, is it 'a friend in need is a friend indeed' or 'a friend in need is a friend in deed'. Clearly, that would have a bearing on the meaning.

The 'in need' is also open to interpretation - is it 'a friend (when you are) in need' or 'a friend (who is) in need'. If the former, then the phrase means: 'someone who helps you when you are in need is a true friend'. If the latter, it is 'someone who needs your help becomes especially friendly in order to obtain it'.

So, that gives us four options:
1. A friend, (when you are) in need, is indeed a true friend. ('indeed')
2. A friend, (when you are) in need, is someone who is prepared to act to show it ('in deed')
3. A friend, (who is) in need, is indeed a true friend. ('indeed')
4. A friend, (who is) in need, is someone who is prepared to act to show it ('in deed')”

Having read the above I’d like you to know that I’m going for third meaning, I think. I’m not sure how to interpret the “act to show it” part, as in drama or as in they’ll put their neck on the line? Anyway, now that I’ve officially confused and intrigued myself I shall get on with the purpose of my post.

When someone you love is struggling what do you do? Do you keep out of the way? Do you jump in and intervene? Do you offer your help? Do you act blissfully unaware? Do you ask others around to be more considerate? How do you deal with a moment of crisis?

If you decide to help then what is it you do? Do you let them talk? Offer them reassurance? Let them know they’re not the first person to go through this? Force your opinion on them? Cuddle them? Give them tough love? Allow them to go through stages of grief and just be there? Allow them to self-destruct?

Today, I have no clue. And I dislike this very much.

I’ve gone for the: offering my help, asking others to be more considerate, letting them talk, offering reassurance, cuddles and allowing them to go through stages of grief and just be there, options.

I think (/hope) I’ve gone for the right options.

Time will tell. And time heals all wounds.

Hmm, time is an interesting topic too..

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