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If asked, we would all probably agree that having friendships is very important and not only important, but usually fun, right? I mean, we have the opportunity to talk about the latest guy or girl we like, we get to go do things with our friends, they make us laugh and feel special and accepted. But is that what being friends is all about? Chatting about relationships and laughing? Or does being a friend mean something else, too - does it carry special responsibilities? I think that when we say that we’re a friend to someone, then we need to do all we can to help make sure our friend is safe and happy. Being a friend, to me, means asking if our friends are okay and genuinely trying to help them through tough times. One of the hardest parts of being a friend is being sworn to secrecy and then being told something that our friends are being deliberately hurt by someone (such as being abused) or that they are choosing to do something that is dangerous to themselves (such as drugs). We’ve sworn not to tell but our hearts know that the situation they are in is bad and dangerous.

What do we do? We don’t want to risk having them get angry at us and ending the friendship and yet it’s tough going through each day knowing that they are being raped or hit or turning to cocaine or ecstasy. We don’t want to lose their trust or make it a bigger deal than it maybe really is but we also don’t want to wonder about whether or not our choice to remain silent is right. But once we, as friends, decide that the secret we’ve been told must be told, the next step is actually telling someone. Our friends may become angry at first and may say things that they really don’t mean. Some may even end the friendship but the real question that we need to ask ourselves is, “Would I rather lose the friendship or their life?” because if the secrets involves self-harm, drugs, abuse or activity that we know is dangerous, then if it’s not stopped, it will eventually take their life, or their spirit. Being a true friend, then, means putting their well being above even the friendship because in the long run, it will save a life. You will at least know that you cared enough about your friend to do something (talk) that was hard for you to do.