*This piece was originally published here. The purpose of this repost is to create an easy access point for our students.
I am completely aware that I am not the first person to write a heartfelt letter expressing their appreciation for their best friend. However, aside from that appreciation, I want to highlight the insanely beautiful person that she is. I want this to be a testimony of her selflessness, and the beauty that radiates from her altruistic ways. I want others to be touched and inspired by the person she is. It would be a tragedy for her kindness to go without recognition. Not only does she deserve to feel special and appreciated, but to keep her selflessness as an untold story would be a disservice those who don't have the privilege of knowing her on a personal level. We can all learn from the kind of friend she is.
She always puts everyone's needs ahead of own and never shows frustration. Her love for her friends is endless and unconditional. It is a special, rare, and strong kind of love. The way she loves completely demonstrates the extraordinary person she is. I think we all forget that concept. By that, I mean that we forget that how we love our friends is a reflection of who we really are. It embodies our strength, our capacity for empathy and compassion. It reflects our morals. Remember that. How you love is a direct representation of all that you are as a person.
Self·less Adjective; Concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one's own; unselfish.
Merriam-Webster's definition of the word selfless doesn't even begin to portray her character. The definition itself is a superficial description of the standard of friendship we are all supposed to live by. We were all (hopefully) brought up to have compassion and empathy for others. However, somewhere along the way, society has lost sight of this concept. Instead, we have become self-centered. We become consumed with the happenings of our own busy lives. In the process, we forget to regard others. Not only does she take others into consideration every day, but she has the strength and compassion to put their needs and problems ahead of her own. That is extraordinary.
Most of us can't even find it within ourselves to send a simple message to our friends saying we hope they have a good day. A lot of us even forget to text our friends back. She is different. She holds herself to the utmost standard and doesn't settle for being a mediocre friend. She makes the time, she is there for her loved ones no matter what. She never judges, and she loves unconditionally. She fits every definition of selflessness, and surpasses it on a deeper level. She is everything a best friend should be and more.
She always listens. She listens for countless minutes as I ramble on about my issues and obstacles in life. She is such a good listener and a reliable confidant, that I sometimes forget to hear her out. She is such a constant in my life that I often forget to be the friend that she is to me in return to her. I think we all take our best friends for granted. It wasn't until the other night that I looked at her as I was rambling on incessantly, and saw the look on her face. It wasn't annoyance, frustration, or boredom. Despite the fact that I had been talking her ear off, she was looking back at me completely engaged in the conversation, with nothing but the most honest look of sincerity in her eyes. I realized then how quietly compassionate she is. That was all it took. She cares so deeply and doesn't expect anything in return. It was in that moment that she inspired me to be a better person, and a better friend. That is the ultimate friend- one that pushes you to be better and inspires you in every way.
Be better. Care more. Make more time for your loved ones. Don't do it for recognition. Put your own issues on the back burner and put them first. Don't settle for being a mediocre friend, be an extraordinary friend.
I challenge you to be a quietly compassionate human being that inspires others to be better people. Be humble in all your ways and expect nothing in return. That is what my best friend has done for me, and I am forever changed.