False friends worse than outright enemies

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No one can live in isolation, no matter how strong they are. In a global community, all of us are interdependent. For instance, a conflict or natural disaster one side of the world has consequences on the other, with the ripples felt much more strongly by direct neighbours.
Whether near or far, it is better for people of the world to maintain a positive attitude towards others. Peace and prosperity of individuals, families or countries can contribute to the wellbeing of those around them. For those who are strong, whether people of organisations, there is a responsibility to give help to those in need.
Those who do not hold onto anger or grudges can be regarded as genuine friends. On the other hand, those who resort to threats or lose patience over small misunderstandings show they cannot be relied upon as friends. They are more likely looking only at what they can gain from a relationship.
Cunning so-called friends are more dangerous than outright enemies. The former lacks trustworthiness, despite smiling and shaking hands. They mask their greed with a benevolent smile. A Myanmar saying goes, “The real strength and power of cattle can be tested only when they can pull heavy loads out of the mire.” Likewise, true friends can be identified only when someone is facing hardship or misfortune.
True friendship cannot be decided by money or smiles, or by races and colours. It might be more prudent to regard someone as a good friend only when they have shown their willingness to forgive and forget, and to lend a hand in a time of need.

By Aung Khin


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