Young People's Turn as Better Friends than Older Adults

Jul 2 , 2022
By Eden Sahle

A couple of years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend and mentor who has been sharing his life regrets with me. He was bedridden due to illness at the time. Whenever I visited him, his face lit up, and he told me my presence was more than anything I could bring to him. He had had an impressive career, travelled the world, and made many friends. When he was bedridden, though, none of his friends whom he crossed oceans with gave him a courtesy call.

His family, whom he gave less time than his friends, stood with him now. He often says that if he knew then what he knows now, it would not have been challenging to figure out who deserved his attention. He was absent from his family, but they were there at times of need when those whom he counted on deserted him. Fortunately, he recovered from his illness and made peace with his family.

Indeed, there are plenty of cracks when it comes to friendship. At times, the friendship we have given so much to is not the same as the family who will risk it all for us. True friendship is rare. Surprisingly, I found this to be more accurate for older adults than young people. The people my beloved father called close friends vanished after his passing. My father’s friends, who used to care for us a lot when he was around, suddenly forgot about us. In our grief, it was church friends whom we barely knew that stuck.

My friends did not fail for a day to comfort and support me by going out of their way. Their presence has been the reason I recovered one day at a time. They showed me their care and love in times of need. This was not because I was a good friend who was always available, but because of the value they have given to our friendship even though we were drifting apart due to the pandemic and demanding work schedules.

It is disappointing to see the seniors who were supposed to be the models for the young failing in their social responsibilities. As my father said, some people are there when they think they can be repaid for their actions. He used to say that when we lose parents, we will see the true colour of some people. Senior people have a lot to learn from the young.

Take for example my friends when we lost two of our friends. We were united in supporting and comforting their families even though our friends were no longer there to judge our actions. We did not betray their families just because our friends were no longer alive to witness what we did.

In my experience, the friends we choose are there for us more than family members. Sometimes, our friends can be more than what family can offer. Family does not always mean people we have to share the same DNA. The people we have not grown up with in the same household and who do not bear the same last name fill us with gratitude for their goodness at times of our need.

Such people’s love and respect enrich our lives, reminding us that the friends we choose are one of the most important relationships we will ever have that can develop into a family relationship. Those trustworthy people with whom we choose to form the closest bonds are more crucial to our overall well-being in the short and long run.

Good family and the right friends will give us the emotional support that we need. They will be there for us throughout the ups and downs of life. Fake friends may abandon us when things get tough, but the true ones will not run away when things are not working out. We need true friends and good family in our lives. They play a crucial role throughout our lifetime. It is emotional and spiritual support that should never be sidelined.

PUBLISHED ON Jul 02,2022 [ VOL 23 , NO 1157]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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