We’re not as kind as we think we are

Two weeks ago I was informed that though my pre-employment medical exam has been cleared, I still have to go back to the clinic for a suggested consultation with an endochrinologist regarding my 41.5 body mass index. According to my med results, I am “morbidly obese”, which means there’s a huge probability that I’d just drop dead – literally – because I’m a 38-year old guy who stands 5’9″ and weighs 292 lbs.

Hey, guess what. I spend at least 1.5 hours every other day in the gym and the first 60 minutes is spent on cardio exercises. My blood pressure is a steady 120/80 which gradually goes up to 130/90 by the end of the day (which is normal), and a personal trainer said I only need to lose about 40 lbs. That should bring my weight down to around 250, which is still too much by popular standards. But I have big bones, says he. I have a body structure that would have qualified me to the NFL.

This post is not a ‘I’m healthier than most less-than-thirty people’ boast – I wouldn’t know the stats of those who are less healthy than me anyway. But let me ask you this question: how many times have you seen a fat person walk into a fastfood store, shaken your head (in either pity or disgust) and thought in psuedo-concern that ‘Kawawa naman siya’? Be honest.

How many times have you refused to invite a fat friend to a hiking trip because you think you might need to be wary of him/her suffering a heart attack? How many times have you thought that you’re better or luckier than someone just because that person wears a size 46 pants?

Should I consider myself lucky that I am not as ‘overweight’ as other people think (because I only need to lose 40 lbs instead of 100 lbs)?

Hell no.

My mom is 64 years old and weighs 250 lbs, and yet she could still give me a run for my money on the elliptical cross-trainer machine.

Notwithstanding this, how many fat people do you think shy away from school homecomings and family reunions just because they’re worried that they’d get the kind of reaction they’d been getting from everyone else they interact with? How many people get less opportunities for better jobs, positions and social recognition just because they’d rip the seams out of a size medium dress shirt? How many people are denied or given very limited medical and life insurance packages because of being “high-risk” individuals just because they’re fat?

Are fat people ‘lesser’ just because they seem to lack commitment, discipline, and endorsement-billboard-on-city-streets-worthy lean bods and washboard abs?

Whether we admit to this or not, our attitude towards the oversized are fast becoming the ‘New Bigotry’, on the same level of the notorious racial discriminations of the past. Today’s society has rapidly formed negative stereotypes against fat people e.g. lazy, stupid, smelly – the same stereotypes given to black people during the 1950s. Test yourself. When you look at an overweight person, what do you see? Chances are it’s a good-for-nothing couch potato. A witless sloth who could think of nothing but eating and sitting in front of the TV/Playstation/gossip magazine whenever he or she got the chance. A detestable wretch who – even though you consciously insist otherwise – deserve no respect or equal treatment.

“Oh, we’re just concerned that’s why we always get the urge to drill into this person’s head that he’s an unsightly swine.” Don’t you think Mr. Hungry Hippo don’t already know that? Don’t you think that the constant berating he/she gets from people who supposedly care hasn’t already given the person a hopeless sense of being unworthy to be counted as human just for the crime of overworking weighing scales and elevators? The way its appearing right now, there are two kinds of overweight people who don’t go swimming: those who don’t like it, and those who fear ridicule for being called ‘flab that sprang to life’.

Modern medical science states that the chances of a fatal illness increases by 1% for every pound a person gains in excess. Whoever said this didn’t take into account people like my mom, Shaquille O’Neal, and that guy that was featured in the April 1998 issue of Men’s Health magazine, in the article titled The World’s Fittest Fat Man. Of course, they’re unlikely to make considerations for exceptions – medical science, especially the branch that deals with obesity, always is. They like making sweeping statements that appeal to the mass media because this is one branch of science that tends to propagate its trade through the media.  And as exceptionally obedient media lemmings that we are, we buy into all of this, hook, line and sinker. As a result, fat people have been discriminated as a burden to society because of a) being insecure, unhappy and unproductive dweebs who couldn’t possibly contribute much to society, and b) being social services parasites who bleed public health services more severely than any other individual.

Here’s an article that discusses why obesity is being considered as a new race that is being discriminated against. It’s a bit long, but I would advise the open-minded to read all the way through. It’s very enlightening.

So we think the aboriginals are equal under God and deserve every right and privilege we enjoy? Good. We think that gay people should not be considered social diseases? I agree. Having said this, let’s pause and consider the slowly growing ramifications of this ‘New Bigotry’ and think about what we could do on a personal level, if we honestly think we’re not bigots.

(Just a reminder: this is not a call to lead a sedentary lifestyle. I’ve always believed that for someone to avoid bitter regret later in life, that person has to exercise and eat right (which means EAT YOU VEGGIES, BOYS AND GIRLS). But if you ask me, I would shift my focus on fitness instead of weight loss. It’s better to be big and fit than to be thin and be rushed to the hospital because of an alarmingly high cholesterol level, like the 16-year old daughter of a neighbor of mine)

My own personal grace

Cold shoulder, silent treatment do more harm than good

Ostracism is more powerful now than ever because people have fewer strong family and friend support systems to fall back on when faced with exclusion in relationships, the workplace or even Internet chat rooms, says a Purdue University social psychologist. “The effects of ostracism are a health concern,” says Kipling Williams, professor of psychological sciences who researches ostracism. “Excluding and ignoring people, such as giving them the cold shoulder or silent treatment, are used to punish or manipulate, and people may not realize the emotional or physical harm that is being done. Some purposely hurt others by not inviting them to a party or ignoring them at work, and others may not even realize they are ostracizing someone when they ignore a new temporary employee or a friend after a disagreement.

“In the past, people who were ostracized at work or by a friend could seek support and control through another significant relationship. But because people report growing more distant from extended family and relying on fewer close friendships, they might lack the support to deal with ostracism.”

“Ostracism is one of the most widely used forms of social punishment, and some see it as more humane than corporal punishment, as when used in a time-out, but there is a deeper psychological impact that needs to be taken seriously,” he says. “We know that when people are ostracized, it can affect their perceptions, physiological conditions, attitude and behavior – all of which sometimes can lead to aggression.”

Ostracism, like the silent treatment and cold shoulder, are very common for two reasons, Williams says.

“First, they’re powerful,” Williams says. “And second, you can get away with them. If people are physically or verbally abusive, they can be punished. But it’s hard to punish someone for not making eye contact or ignoring another person. If the person is confronted by asking, ‘Why are you not talking to me?,’ the person can easily deny the accusation.”

Sometimes ostracism is unintentional. Temporary employees, for example, report that they are frequently ostracized.

“They feel invisible,” Williams says. “Other workers don’t want to make friends or even introduce themselves because that person is not expected to remain with the company for long. Temporary workers feel ignored and excluded, and this can affect their performance in the office.”

“Ostracism is present in the animal kingdom and is often used to increase a group’s chance for survival by basically excluding the weakest link,” Williams says. “For example, if a lion is hurt and holding the pride up, then that lion may be pushed away.”

However, humans use ostracism for more complex reasons. The people who are ostracizing often feel a strong sense of belonging with each other, as well as feeling empowered, Williams says. People who are excluded react one of two ways. The most common reaction is to try to improve a person’s characteristics or behavior so they are included or fit in. Or, people who are excluded frequently become destructive and vindictive.

Many people also use ostracism as a tool to gain control of a situation.

The silent treatment also can be an asset when you are trying to argue with someone who is more articulate.

From “The Social Outcast: Ostracism, Social Exclusion, Rejection and Bullying.” by Kipling Williams

The art of talking to a wall…

Have you ever been like Squall?

——————————–

Quistis: “What time is it?”

Squall: “It’s after midnight.”

Quistis: “Oh well… I, Quistis Trepe, am no longer an instructor as of now! I’m a member of SeeD now, just like you. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up working together.”

Squall: “…Oh really?”

Quistis: “Is that all you’re going to say?”

Squall: “If that’s how it was decided, you have to abide by it.”

Quistis: “They told me that I failed as an instructor. Basically, that I lacked leadership qualities. I was a SeeD by the age of 15, got my instructor license at 17…It’s only been a year since I got it… I wonder where I went wrong… I did my best… Are you listening?”

Squall: “Are you done yet…? I don’t wanna talk about it. What am IÂ supposed to say about other people’s problems?”

Quistis: “I’m not asking you to say anything. I just want you listen.”

Squall: “Then go talk to a wall.”

———————————

Chances are, you have. I don’t know. All I know is I have been like Squall. One of the things I used to hate about myself.

Time was whenever a friend approaches me about a problem he or she has, I take a second to turn away… just so that friend doesn’t see me rolling my eyes. “Who do I look like to you, Dr. Phil?” I would think silently, and then proceed to pretend that I’m listening. Not that I ever did a good job at pretending to listen; not even halfway across the venting I already begin to impart my so-called “words of wisdom” – which is really nothing more than an eloquently disguised attempt at brushing my friend off.

Either that or I really mean to give my friend my 2 cents about his/her predicament, and often I lance it out rather strongly. Did I mean to help? Maybe I did, or maybe I just wanna tell the person that “You are such a dumb ass. Take two of these (my so-called advice) and don’t call me in the morning because really, you should have known better.”

That’s me telling my friend that since I would never put myself in that situation, stop being so antichristing stupid and start imitating me.

Whenever I think back to this, I feel an overwhelming urge to travel back in time and wallop my past self with a flash-frozen tuna.

So who’s the dumb ass? Me, obviously. It was a good thing I met my (future) wife when I did, because if not I wouldn’t wise up enough to know that when a friend talks to me about his problems, he doesn’t need me to cue my self-righteous, smart ass advice to make him feel as small as a gnat. Even if I’m not being self-righteous and a smart ass, he doesn’t need me to talk. He just needs me to listen.

Many times, that’s the best help we could extend to a friend in distress. Just listen.

As individuals, we couldn’t always count on someone else to help us solve our problems. Most of the times, we have to deal with them by ourselves. But dealing with a problem and bearing the stress it brings are two different things. And it’s really nice to know that we have friends who would listen as we vent that stress out. Many times, just talking about a problem is already half-solving the problem.

But we need someone to listen to us. And contrary to a popular adage, walls don’t have ears.

But friends do.

Squall Leonhart is actually one of the coolest Final Fantasy characters, but I don’t blame fans who want to wallop him with a flash-frozen tuna whenever they recall that particular FFVIII scene. So at least in that aspect, let’s not be like Squall.

Be not afraid of the ones that get mad…

Be afraid of the ones that get EVEN.

These are the people who get aggravated, antagonized, and anathematized for no real reason, and still remain quiet.

They’re like crocodiles. You make the water murky, you only give them a way to move unseen. Before you know it, you’re wide-eyed staring at the bubbles coming from your mouth as the croc drags you deeper and deeper into the bottom of the river.

If you’re so rabid that you’d actually get sick if you’re forbidden from making enemies out of individuals who are just minding their own business, at least glance at these tips on what kind of people you should choose as enemies.

1) Those that get mad – they’re nothing but noise, calling everyone’s attention to make themselves appear like they’re the ones being offended. Like I said, don’t be afraid of them.

2) Those that ignore you – you may become frustrated as hell that your antics don’t get a rise out of them, but at least you don’t have to worry about getting the tables turned on you.

3) Those who are too stupid to realize they’re already being insulted (of which I am definitely not one of them. You can veil your belligerence with the thickest decoy tactic you could think of, I’d still see through it)

… … …

Having said all these…

My ultimate advice is DON’T make enemies. Contrary to what the enmity-advocating gossip-mill culture that we have may impress on you, making enemies is not admirable. It’s not cool. It will not turn you into a prom king or queen.

It’s simply retarded.

You’re retarded if you initiate and perpetuate conflicts willingly and gleefully. You deserve to be called bading (if you’re a guy) or palengkera (if you’re a girl).

No class at all.

It’s not worth it. For whatever reason. Let alone having no reason at all.

It still pays to turn the other cheek.

Do I know you?

Hypocrisy check: several times I had to go back to myself and drive a nail through my personal reason for disliking ABS-CBN. Several reasons, actually:

1. PBB - I just don’t see the point of gathering strangers under one roof to watch them back stab and front stab each other. Entertainment? Maybe. In the vernacular, kanya-kanyang trip lang yan. It’s just not for me. The way I see it, it’s a show that capitalizes on the Filipino’s fondness for watching people making an ass of themselves. With the morale of the nation as low as it is now, this show is not particularly helpful in any genuinely constructive way.

2. News anchormen – especially the guys, with the way they intentionally speak in booming baritone as though they were recording voices for a cartoon show instead of reporting the news… I just can’t force myself to take them seriously. It’s annoying as hell.

3. Shows that promote superstition – too freaking many to mention

4. Telenovelas – same old same old same old same old same old same old same old same old same old same old same old… *sigh*

5. Gimmickry of mimicry – are they unaware that the people know how they imitate GMA 7 at almost every turn or do they simply not care?

6. Wowowee – self-explanatory

Those are just a few. But I’m not going to specify all of my reasons here, for the simple reason that this post is not about bashing ABS-CBN. I stated the above merely to drive a point: I know ABS-CBN’s programming, and I don’t like it.

Common sense, right? In order to dislike or despise something or someone, you have to know it first. Especially if you’re going to share your disgust with like minds.

Everyone has freedom of preference. Freedom to opinion. Freedom to like or dislike anyone or anything.

But if your disgust is based on nothing but a superficial view of indirectly gathered, very third-hand information… or worse, if your disgust is based on nothing but gut feel, then what you have is nothing but prejudice.

Judgment without reason.

And you’re nothing but a bigot.

It’s like judging people based on skin color.

Because really, how could anyone of us hope to say that a person is bad when we don’t really know that person well? Or at all?

“Shit, sister, don’t talk to that guy/girl! He/she’s an ass/a bitch!”

Really?

We know this for a fact?

Do we even know that person enough to know this for a fact?

If we couldn’t answer Yes to anyone of the above, then we should just shut the hell up.

I mean, let’s get real. Let’s be practical and truthful. No one ever judges the merits (or lack thereof) of a book without reading it first, right?

Do you know that we’re answerable to God for every despicable judgment we make against anyone, no matter if it’s true or not? How much more answerable do you think we’d be if we unleash judgment that are unfounded, based on nothing, and made from a position of ignorance? Or worse yet, how much more answerable would we be for being libelous liars?

I’m thinking if we do this, we deserve to have our tongues nailed on a wall. Literally.

Being prejudicial is uncool, dudes and dudettes. Let’s stop while we still can.

The First Time

We’re not stupid.(Most of the time.)

We know what’s right and wrong. We know what are the things that we can and cannot do. We know the difference.

Bad = thou shalt not do.

But when interest joins forces with opportunity…

What do we do?

“Just this once.”

It’s okay to indulge ourselves. Just this once.

Is it?

Maybe. How could that one single time possibly harm us?

Interest and opportunity. Undisputed World Tag-Team Champions.

As long as you’re interested, and there’s opportunity, what’s to say that that “just this one time” wouldn’t turn out to be “just this first time”?

What’s to say that you wouldn’t want a second helping, especially if you already know how good it is?

As long as the opportunity is still there… and you still want it…

All avalanches start with the first trickle of loose snow.

All “hard habits to break” start with the first indulgence.

As long as interest and opportunity are there, “this one time” always has the potential to turn out as “the first time”.

And you’ll always have the potential to keep saying “just this second time”, “just this third time”, “just this fourth time”…

We’re not stupid. I’m sure we all get the picture.

A true friend knows when you’re in trouble or doing something stupid

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. —Proverbs 27:6

Confession: Sometimes when a Christian friend tries to point out a mistake I made or is currently making, my first instinct is to lash out with an annoyed “Mind your own business”. I never did, if my memory serves me right. I’ve never been good at baseless confrontations. But I do remember falling silent and listening to my…

Check that. PRETENDING to listen as my friend finishes his self-righteous preaching of the ills and wrongs of what I’m doing. Inside, I’m really only counting the minutes, hoping for him to decide to stop so I could go on my merry way. In some of those, I actually made a memo to myself never to say things to that person again. Ever.

Seems right, doesn’t it? That person may be my friend, but my life is still mine to live, and if he wants to stay as my friend maybe he should start considering what part of my life he could and could not encroach in.

Until I encountered this Daily Bread article.

———————————————————

Never will I forget the rebuke I received from a friend when I was 17. He walked into the back of the butcher shop where I worked and saw me laughing at an indecent cartoon. He said he had admired my Christian character, and was surprised that I would laugh at something sinful and degrading. Instantly a wave of embarrassment swept over me. I shamefully admitted that I had sinned.

It’s not pleasant to be rebuked, nor is it easy to rebuke another person. So I can imagine that the apostle Paul didn’t like confronting Peter (Galatians 2:11). But he felt he had to, because Peter’s hypocritical behavior was hurtful and confusing to the Gentile converts at Antioch. Peter had freely eaten with them, but after some Jews from Jerusalem came to the Antioch church, he shunned the Gentiles, fearing the Jews’ disapproval. I imagine that he felt shame, but he apparently accepted the rebuke gracefully and changed his ways. He knew that Paul was a true friend who loved him. And in later years he referred to him as “our beloved brother Paul” (2 Peter 3:15).

If you must rebuke someone, do it gently. If you are rebuked, avoid an angry response. You may be getting a needed “faithful wound” from a friend.
 —Herbert Vander Lugt

A friend will gently say what’s true,
Although it may cause pain;
He’s really thinking of our good
And what we stand to gain. —D. De Haan

A true friend will put a finger on your faults without rubbing them in.

———————————————————

Well, not only did this teach me that a friend who makes me aware of my mistakes really cares about me, but also that if I’m a friend to someone, I should start doing the same.  A person who tells his friend to mind his own business when he gently admonishes about a mistake is like someone who gets angry at a flashlight because it showed him that he’s heading into a brick wall. On the other hand, if you like being with someone only because that person tells you what you want to hear, be careful. This “friend” is nothing more than a flashlight that doesn’t give you light. I.e. useless.

So if I tell you that you’re losing your way, it’s because (a) you are, and (b) I don’t want you to.

 

What do a tooth, a tattoo, and a friend have in common?

An excerpt from something I wish I had written. Wanna know why I love FFVIII so much? The way it deals with emotions and interpersonal relations are so real and life-like. Don’t believe me? Read on…

——————————–

With a little help from the FH techs and a lot of prodding from Irvine, Selphie had pulled off the Garden Festival surprisingly well, considering that she’d had less than a day to do it. A stage had been erected next to the mayor’s house, and SeeDs and SeeD candidates had flocked out of Garden to join the party and dance to the music. Why Selphie had picked out an old-fashioned jig, Squall had no idea, but it sounded pretty good. She was just lucky that Quistis and Irvine could play the instruments she’d given them.Squall had never known that Zell could tap-dance.Rinoa was the one who’d dragged him out to the party. He’d meant to take advantage of the event to rest, but left to his own devices, he found himself getting restless. Even… bored.

That was when Rinoa had found him, dressed up for the party and coaxing for all she was worth. Even if he’d refused, she’d have pestered him until he’d agreed to put in an appearance. He let her drag him out to the concert. Irvine somehow managed to clear out the area near the stage, so that the two of them could sit in peace.

It quickly became clear that Rinoa had something more serious than the concert on her mind.

“What is it?” Squall finally asked, when it began to look like she’d be all night getting around to saying anything of importance.

“Umm,” she began hesitantly. “Well, it’s about your promotion.” She paused, not quite meeting his eyes, before venturing, “Things are gonna get real tough for you, huh?”

He didn’t want to think about that.

Something must have shown on his face – or else it was his silence that gave him away. “Squall, I’m sure there’ll be a lot of difficult things that you’ll have to deal with from now on. We were talking about that, and saying how you’ll probably try to handle everything on your own.”

I probably will, he thought, but kept that to himself.

Rinoa smiled, noting, “They know you too well. I do, too, although I haven’t been around you that long. Y’know, when you start thinking, you tend to frown like this…”

He’d hunched forward, propping his elbow against his knee and resting his chin on his hand. When he glanced aside, he realized she was mimicking his posture. He swiped a hand at her irritably, but she rolled nimbly backwards and hopped to her feet, laughing delightedly.

Oh, perfect. “I’m out of here,” he grumped, preparing to get back to his feet.

“Oh come on! I’m sorry!” she protested, making him hesitate. “But really, we were saying that…well… You can’t handle everything on your own.”

As she was saying this, she strolled casually around behind him, creeping up behind his back – and shoved him off the ledge he was sitting on, down onto the array of solar panels below. As he shot her a killing glare, she hopped down after him, meeting his inarticulate growl of frustration with a triumphant look.

“That’s it!” she exclaimed, holding out both hands in an almost pleading gesture. “Just let out anything! Anything… We want you to talk to us a little more. That’s all.”

When he tried to turn away, she followed him, persisting, “Y’know, if there’s anything you want to tell us, or anything we can do, don’t hesitate to let us know. I know it’s not easy, but I wish you would trust us and rely on us a little more.”

Squall couldn’t think of anything to say. Am I that untrusting…? he wondered to himself. Maybe I’m this way because I’m scared. Nothing lasts in this world.

It feels great to have friends who believe in you, and adults you can rely on. That’s why it’s so dangerous, especially if you become used to it. Someday you’re bound to lose everything. Everybody around you will be gone. Then what are you left with? Nothing. Nobody… It’s so miserable.

And it’s inevitable. It’s so hard to recover from something like that. I never ever want to deal with that again. I can’t. Even if it means being alone…

…for the rest of my life.

“What a night,” Rinoa mused cheerfully, breaking into Squall’s grim thoughts. “Great music… Good-looking guy… Not only is he good-looking, he’s the sweetest guy… a great listener. Right now, he’s seriously thinking about what I said. He’s shy and doesn’t say anything, but I know.” She turned to him now, smiling. “So, what do you think?” she asked brightly. “None of our business?”

Squall sighed, shaking his head. “I appreciate your concern,” he began. “But…”

“No ‘buts’!” she interrupted him sharply. “Just think about this. This might be the only time we’ll all be together. So, as long as we’re together, we might as well enjoy each other’s company and… just talk, right?”

“…Just for now, huh?” he muttered, a little sourly. “Forget it. I don’t want friends who won’t be around tomorrow.”

“Gosh, you’re such a pessimist,” Rinoa complained on a half-laugh. “There are no guarantees in the future. That’s why today, the time we have now, is important. Squall,” she insisted, “we wanna help you, as much as we can, for as long as we can. We all love you.”

He blinked at her, caught more than a little off-guard by this pronouncement.

“There,” she added, a little wryly, “I said it. Please don’t freak out. We just wanna live, y’know, live through this time with you, together.”She’d unbalanced him. He wasn’t sure what to think. “…Together…?” he echoed uncertainly, half to himself.

“Keep it in the back of your mind,” Rinoa told him gently. “Call on us whenever you need to. We’ll be waiting. Like I said, who knows what’s gonna happen in the future… but I have a feeling we’ll be together for a while.”

They were both quiet for some time, while cheerful music drifted in from overhead.

“So,” Rinoa spoke up at last, smiling again, “what’s on your mind? Do you have any dreams, Squall? Anything you want to do with your life?”

He’d never actually thought about it. The only goal he’d ever had in his life was to become a SeeD. Now that he’d done that… “That’s something I’d rather not talk about,” he told her. Then, a little less stiffly, ventured, “What about you?”

“…I don’t know,” she admitted. “I guess I’d rather not talk about the future, either But right now…” She looked up at the night sky, where the stars glittered down at them both. “…I wanna stay right here…” she murmured, “…like this.”

————————–

What a bitch…

A. “I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.” — Robert Brault

B. “when a friendship ends…it means it never even started” — Joy Perez

C. “The only thing permanent in life is change” — Markku Seguerra

Hmm…

Perhaps one of the worst sins a person could commit against himself is being the friend-for-life type, at the same time with being a poor judge of character. Item A runs smack into item B and causes a deep gash into a person’s heart. That, or item C rears its ugly head (not refering to the quote itself or the quoter, just the innate truth behind the quote), and the result is no less painful.

Most of the time it’s C. “Change” is one hell of a monster. Change for the better could lead to a better life, but for the worse the frustration and disappointment it causes seem to outweigh the effect of it being a good kind. It’s especially painful when it happens to people, those whom you have accepted into your life, invited into your house, taken into confidence and invested a portion of yourself on. So if you’re the friend-for-life type, get ready to be hit by a big rig squarely on the face. Making a poor character judgment by doing such things with one who turns out to be a “temp” friend could be one of the biggest mistakes you could do in your life.

Each of us has had his share: people lying to you; people easily believing lies about you; people who used to make plans with you but suddenly stop for whatever reason. The friend-for-life type person normally takes such things hard, and who can blame him? Well, one. Himself, for choosing the wrong person for a friend. That’s about all there is, really. When you’re the type who takes friendship seriously, so much that “once a friend, always a friend” is one of your guiding principles, and you make the mistake of opening up to someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you, it sucks. Being dissed by a person you care about always sucks.

That’s why personally, I’m grateful for people like Rachel, Cathy and the Bay Area gang, years-displaced friends who always remember to call me when they’re in the country. Rollee and Oyee, two who remain friends-for-life even if it takes months for us to get a chance to get together. Hana, Mike, Markku, Leia, Charina and the rest of the lunchtime pack and the Iskul Bukol gang for making it a point to get in touch with me when there are plans to go out, even though I’ve already moved to another job. Oh yeah, like I said, we’ve all had our share of “temp” friends, and the not-so-few times I experienced being taken out of the plan by people who used to make plans with me were never easy dealings. But, like most of us, I just had to choke down the frustration and move on. (Like I had any other choice)

Yeah, change is the only thing permanent. But when it happens to people you value, it could be such a bitch…

Click here only if we’re still making plans together

One friend in a lifetime is much, two are many, three are hardly possible. ” – Henry Brook Adams

If two friends ask you to judge a dispute, don’t accept, because you will lose one friend; on the other hand, if two strangers come with the same request, accept because you will gain one friend.” – St. Augustine

“Friends, both the imaginary ones you build for yourself out of phrases taken from a living writer, or real ones from college, and relatives, despite all the waste of ceremony and fakery and the fact that out of an hour of conversation you may have only five minutes in which the old entente reappears, are the only real means for foreign ideas to enter your brain.” – Nicholson Baker

“A friend loveth at all times.” – Proverbs 17:17

“A puppy plays with every pup he meets, but an old dog has few associates.”Josh Billings

“Friends come and go but enemies accumulate.” – Arthur Block

“Friendships are fragile things and require as much care in handling as any other fragile and precious thing. ” – Randolphe S. Bourne

False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine, but leaving us the instant we cross into the shade.”Christian Nevell Bovee

“I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar. ” – Robert Brault

“Thus much for thy assurance know; a hollow friend is but a hellish foe.” – Nicholas Breton

“A good friend is worth pursuing… but why would a good friend be running away?” – Ashleigh Brilliant

“If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love friends for their sake rather than for our own.” – Charlotte Bronte

“Friendship should be a private pleasure, not a public boast. I loathe those braggarts who are forever trying to invest themselves with importance by calling important people by their first names in or out of print. Such first-naming for effect makes me cringe.” – John Mason Brown

A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil — but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small silly presents every so often — just to save it from drying out completely ” – Pam Brown

A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure.” – Buddha

“Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.” – Samuel Butler

Friendship without self-interest is one of the rare and beautiful things of life.” – James F. Byrnes

“I have always laid it down as a maxim –and found it justified by experience –that a man and a woman make far better friendships than can exist between two of the same sex –but then with the condition that they never have made or are to make love to each other.” – Lord Byron

The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ.” – Oswald Chambers

“I have three kinds of friends: those who love me, those who pay no attention to me, and those who detest me.” – Sebastian-Roch Nicholas De Chamfort

“A friend is someone you can be alone with and have nothing to do and not be able to think of anything to say and be comfortable in the silence.” – Sheryl Condie

“A friend is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.” – Frank Crane

“A good motto is: Use friendliness but do not use your friends.” – Frank Crane