Tell our best friend: there must be a reason why Nane Annan, the wife of the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, picked our dearest Pooh as the Ambassador of Friendship in 1997.
Of all things, we believe that it must be for his Pooh-sonality (pun intended, haha!). In addition to being adorable, Pooh is the best friend worth having and a committed one too. Being one that is open to diversity, he welcomes each of his friends with such warmth that would leave a deep impression in your heart forever.
“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together – keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” Pooh (A.A. Milne)
Being under the spotlight of his universe all these years, there is actually one great value that Pooh has subtly advocate for throughout his life and tales: be the best friend first before expecting one to come into your life.
Best friend: Want one? Be one.
“I wonder what Piglet is doing,” thought Pooh. “I wish I were there to be doing it, too.”
We have shed so many tears, crying over our best friends that walked away from our life; some migrated, some literally passed away, or some — unfortunately — change. We have spent ages looking for someone like them to fill the hole that they have left in our heart.
Throughout the pursuit of finding a new ‘best friend’, we sometimes find ourselves becoming collateral damage — potential best friends stabbed us in the back while others use us for their own selfish interests. All these make the effort of finding the best friend become tiresome for us.
As we grow older and with the position of being ‘my best friend’ still vacant, we find ourselves falling into despair and disappointment because we failed to find the best friend that we seek.
If only we could take a moment to catch our breath and reflect. Observe and contemplate. We would eventually realise that everyone is busy looking around for their best friend too, that we’re not actually alone in this quest to find the best friend. And while they are at it, they are unaware that other people are in a steeplechase like them, running around overcoming hurdles like us, for the same purpose of finding the best companion.
Thus it becomes an unending cycle, with us chasing around each other and nobody as a winner.
“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.” Pooh (A.A. Milne)
Instead of putting all our effort to find the best friend to be by our side, why not we first be the best to everyone around us as if they are our own best friend?
This does not mean we should expect all of them to be hanging around with us more often. Rather, it is mostly about the way we treat them. Sometimes, we tend to discriminate against our “distant” friends with our affection, sparring little attention and interaction than they deserve as a friend. If we do not like to receive this kind of treatment, shouldn’t we first and foremost not give this kind of treatment to those around us?
Did we buy coffee for the nerd colleague across our desk too or did we select only those we think are worthy of our generous treat? Did we greet the old janitor at the office and ask about his or her day? Or do we reserve our greetings for only our superiors and bosses?
Did we make friend with the guys around our neighbourhood and spend a few evenings with them? Did we thank the cashier girl at Krispy Kreme nicely after receiving our order?
To put it briefly, did we behave good enough for all of our friends?
Friendship means giving before receiving.
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” Pooh (A.A. Milne)
It is from giving that we will receive something in return. Pack these with sincerity and give them as your best gift: your attention, warmth, constructive thought, congratulations and condolences, lending an ear, and giving a warm smile.
Let us be reminded that there is no need to anticipate any form of feedback or repay for our deed. By being the best friend, we would come to realize that we are not one who would be worrying over not getting treated the same way. Our thoughts and effort are too immersed in giving happiness to people and being content by seeing their happy faces.
Should the people we do our best to still treat us badly afterwards, it is not a part of our concern.
“Are you kidding me? All of my effort would go to waste then” is what you might think of from reading this, right?
However, do you still remember all those moments when you did all the worst things imaginable to your best friend before this? After it happened, did they leave your side or did they still answer your 3 a.m. call, worrying if something bad has happened to you? This is indeed food for our thought.
Best friends forever: A better relationship with everyone, a better world
If you still have not manage to find your best friend afterwards, worry not. You have achieved the greater goal of being the best friend yourself.
Look at the bigger picture. You have created a better world for everyone. The people whom you do good to — your best friend — is now inspired to be the best to other people too. The Domino’s effect is going around! Now, everyone is the best friend of everyone.
What a great society it would be!
And one day, without you realising it, a person would walk into your life. This person, previously undetected by your radar, suddenly come into your life to become your good friend and fill in the missing gap, the one you’ve been trying to fill all these while.
Just like that, all of you now are enjoying yourselves together in the very place you have dreamt for so long to be there. The entire group now get to spend their time in a great new place with great company around them, an experience they thought they’d never be able to live through before.
And out of the blue, the voice of Pooh whispers in your head:
“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.”