Written by the 3rd grade students of Gymnazium P. Horova in Michalovciach, Slovakia.
K. Šoltésová, L. Rejtová, M. Niemiecová

FRIENDSHIP

Friendship. We often use this word. But what does it in fact mean? Are you able to answer this question? Who is a real friend? Do you think that friendship will never die? Have you ever thought about it?

We asked two generations some questions about this topic. Here are the results:

GIRL(17)

What does friendship mean to you?

It is something what is very valuable but you can't buy it. It must be protected. You have to take care of friendship because it is very easy to loose a friend but after that it is much more difficult to recover it again. It is like a treasure. You must keep it in safety. If you don't, it will not last anymore. Friendship is soft.

Who do you think a good friend is?

It's someone who you get on well with. Who you like to be with and who you would miss if you lost him. It's somebody who stands by you if you have some problems, who gives you advice, who has always time for you.

Do you think you have many friends?

I am not sure. I have many friends-many people who I know, but not many good friends.

Do you think a good friend can let you down?

Yes, I think so. Somebody seems to be your good friend, but if you have some problems, he/she isn't there for you. But in this case he/she isn't your good friend.

Would you do anything for your friend?

It depends on the friend and on the thing I should do. I think that I will help my friend with problems he/she has to go through. He/she has to feel that somebody in the world loves him/her and takes care for him/her. If you have a good friend, your problems seem to be smaller and it is much easier for you because you know you can always reckon on somebody.

Do you have a boyfriend?

No, I don't.

Do you spend much time with your friends?

Well, I meet them almost every day because many of my friends go to the same school as I do. We also meet each other in our free time. My parents are sometimes angry because they think I don't spend enough time with my family. But they are really nice and accept it. I am with my friends especially during holidays. I want to be with somebody in my age.

Do your parents like your friends?

They don't know them very well, but I think that they like most of them. But I know many families arguing about this topic.

Do you know what they think of them?

I haven't asked. If they are speaking about them, it is usually in a good way. If they thought something bad about them, they would certainly say it.

And is it easy for you to make friends?

Maybe yes. Everybody says I am very sociable and talkative think I am quite reserved to strangers. But if I make a friend, I am sure it will last.

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BOY(18)

What does friendship mean to you?

Friendship? It is a relationship between people.

Boys and girls?

Also.

Do you have a girlfriend?

Yes, I do.

Do you really love her?

Well, I don't know. But I like her.

And how long have you been going out with her?

How long? Two weeks. During the last 2 years I have always had a girlfriend and maybe this one is the right.

Is she your good friend? Who is a good friend?

I have known her only for 4 weeks and I think that you must know your good friend longer. Good friend is the one who gives you advice, who has the same hobbies, and of course, who lends you money if you are broken.

Is it all?

Maybe.

So, do you have many friends?

Oh, hundreds.

Could they let you down?

Some did, but we are friends again.

Would you do anything for your friends?

Anything? No, I wouldn't kill somebody for example.

How much time do spend with your friends?

As possible. Especially at weekends. I like playing football with them.

Do you parents think you spend too much time with them?

Yes, we have arguments about it. But I don't have the same opinion.

And do they like them?

Some of them yes. But they are also afraid of the bad influence they could have on me.

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WOMAN(40)

What does friendship mean to you?

It is necessary, but I don't have so much time for my friends. I have family, job. It used to be different when I was young. I didn't have so many duties. I haven't seen lots of my friends from school for very long time.

What do you think about today's friendship?

I think that real friendship is rare. Today's meaning of friendship is different as it used to be. People know each other, meet each other, but these meetings are usually for business. Everybody keeps his problems for himself. He cannot be sure about his friends. Someone is your "friend" because it suits him, but he may hate you.

And do you have any children?

Yes, I do. I have two teenagers.

Do they have a boyfriend/girlfriend?

I think so. Somebody always calls them, but it is a secret for me. I think they don't want me to know about it.

And don't you want to know?

Of course, yes. But I remember being the same. It needs time.

I expect you know some of their friends. What do you think about them, do you like them?

I can't say exactly. I don't know them very well. Some are really nice, but I am afraid that some could have a bad influence on them.

In which way?

For example smoking or drinking, playing truant. In the worst case of drugs. They spend much time with them and we both work.

Could they let your children down?

Everybody can disappoint. We are all people.

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MAN(53)

What does friendship mean to you?

Friendship? What is it? It doesn't exist anymore!

Don't you have any friends?

I do, but they aren't real friends. They only want to utilise me. Some of them want to borrow money from me, the others want me to help them to build their houses(I am bricklayer).They come to visit me only when they need something.

Do you have any children?

Yes, three boys and two girls.

Do they have any friends?

Yes, they have many friends.

Do you like them?

No, they always come to stay in our house at night and they are really noisy and impolite.

Did you use to have any friends when you were young?

Yes, we used to have fun together, but now they have families and also they have changed. I wish I could turn back the time. Today all the people live only for money and success.

And what about you? Is money more important for you than relationships between you and people around you?

Money is very important, but I used to think that relationships are important too. Now, I have changed my mind. I treat the others as they treat me. Money is also important because my children need it and want it from me. They became demanding.

As we can see in the survey, different people have different opinions. But most of them think that real friendship is very important in our lives. We hope friendship will last forever.

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Natália Mižová : Friendship

FRIENDSHIP

Friendship is a difficult word. It means something different for every person. For this reason it isn't easy to define it. People are social beings. Friendship is very important for them. Some people even believe that friendship is more important than love. Good friendship is really more valuable than gold. If you have a good friend or "akin soul" your problems disappear and life isn't so sad. But as an old proverb says: "A friend in need is a friend indeed." Some friends are only friends for good times and they utilise their friends. Notice how Ezop describes it in his fable

Birds, animals and bat:

The birds and animals were in the war. They struggled often and hard. Sometimes the birds were the winners when they swooped down from the sky and attacked the animals. Another time the animals overpowered the birds-they attacked the birds which were trying to find some food on the land. But there was one being which was always on the winning side. It never suffered a loss because it always ran from one side to the other. This being was a bat. He thought he was very clever because he was always with the winners. When the war finished all the birds and animals decided to live in peace forever. "I deserve a reward now," thought the bat.

"Everybody must consider me to be a fair man because I never got lost and I was trying to help the both sides. Birds and animals should choose me to be a king!"

But the reality was different. Birds and animals as well didn't want to talk with the bat either. "You aren't a friend but a traitor," told animals to the surprised bat." You are devoted to nobody only to yourself. In the war you betrayed both sides. We don't want you!" From that times the bat doesn't rank among birds either animals.

People should be devoted to their friends and stay with them in every circumstance because they could stay alone and friendship is the first of all values.

Written by the 3rd grade students of Gymnazium P. Horova in Michalovciach, Slovakia.

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