Friendships are color blind - for what color has a soul? That is what true friendship is to me. The sharing of two souls, forget the color of the skin that houses them! Friends embrace, support, laugh and cry together, they know when to speak up, when it is best to sit quietly and listen. It matters not whether our friends live in a villa atop some scenic hillside in Tuscany, in a ghetto fourth floor apartment in Harlem, or are seeking tranquility at an ashram in India. Ethnicity and skin color, gender, education or income are not indicators or prerequisites for friendship and should not be determinants for those who fulfill this role in our lives.
We bring into a friendship the experiences that shape us, our cultural backgrounds, the tidbits of wisdom from our family patriarchs and matriarchs. For some, there are rare opportunities to make friends with others outside our immediate social cirlce. We spend our entire lives never going beyond these boundaries and extending the bonds of friendship to those of another race.
Others are blessed to explore the world beyond their immediate spheres and, in so doing, make friends of other races. In areas of mutliple ethnicities, this is so easy. Children are born without prejudices and, unless they learn it from the adults around them, they play happily side by side, begin school together, and grow up sharing customs, holidays, foods, and friendships.
The world of the internet has been instrumental in initiating many interracial and international friendships. For some, it is difficult to get out in their communities and online communication has been a wonderful medium for sharing lives and battling loneliness. It has been the stimulus for inspiring people to learn more about cultures different from their own and eliminating some of the anxiety one might feel about the unknown. Staying in touch with friends has become easier, from any part of the world.
I strongly believe in that old adage, "To have a friend, be a friend." Sometimes that means taking a risk, giving more than fifty percent. Over a lifetime, friends come and go as our needs and interests change. A true friend, however, is one that is there forever and a treasure to cherish and love, from the inside out. I relate to the heart of the person, not to the color of their skin. That being said, I cherish many hearts that are housed in ethnicities of the world.