A proverb says, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. It is true in many cases. But in reality the ‘need’ gets a twisted meaning and ‘indeed’ becomes a remote possibility. Thus varieties of friends appear on the scene. We shall consider three categories.
Friend in need is a true friend. He rushes to your help when you have a difficulty. There are persons who sense an intimate friend’s problems. Without asking and in anticipation they offer timely and substantial help. This helps to eliminate the problem. They are really friends in need and friends indeed as well.
There is another category of friends who are ‘good morning friends’. They build a superficial layer of friendship. No attempt is made to establish intimacy and a sincere relationship. The conversation generally starts and ends with good morning or similar greetings. They render only lip service. They promise to help when in need but never turn up. Giving excuses always for not fulfilling a promise is their nature. They put a friend in great distress, though they don’t deprive him of anything. Such a friend is a fake.
Another category of friends is that of ‘fraud’. Such friends have the major objective of exploitation. They believe in the philosophy of “self before service”. Apparently they are very nice to talk but have a hidden dagger with them. They will suck you of your health, money and belongings gradually by applying sugarcoated words. They take advantage of your generosity and willingness to help prompting you to get their personal jobs done.
They give you low value bait and trap you to do something big in return. Later it becomes a one sided relationship where they borrow huge amounts from you and after winning confidence delay and deny repayment. Then a stage comes they ask why you should be repaid for you have surplus money which could be put to better use by allowing to remain with them. The ask questions endlessly.
Such friend is a ‘fraud’ and we have to be guarded against them. They will swallow you at the earliest opportunity. They are confidence tricksters tempting you to be with them and one fine morning decamp with your cash or possessions.
These hidden thieves are to be avoided. We come across some specimens while traveling. To cite one case a co -passenger talked very nicely with words of honey and sugar. At a station the train halted for twenty minutes. A passenger who had to continue his journey had kept a carton of fruit juice. He was standing near the door.
The co passenger befriended him and taking advantage of his absence on the seat walked away with the carton. After realizing that the carton disappeared the owner chased him on the platform and asked him to return the carton, which he refused. He claimed ownership. Then he was exposed. He returned the carton.
Due to the generosity of the owner of the carton he was not handed over to the police. Such a friend is a ‘fraud’. He has to be avoided. In life we come across all these types of friend and some more. Be cautious in dealing with them. Identify the really fine ones and establish firm ,friendly and fruitful relationship on a lasting basis. Leave the others like chaff and at the most confine your relationship with ‘good morning friends’. Do not take a ticket to join their gang the third category or welcome them. You have to use a sieve to sift the best of friends from the fake and fraud ones.