Will you be my nieghbor?

I was talking with a good friend the a while ago and he looks at me and says "For as often as we hang out, I don't really know much about where you come from.  I don't know what your home is like, I don't know what your life story is."
I replied that this is pretty typical, and most people don't know their friends' backgrounds.

It hit me later: WHY do we not know our friends' backgrounds?

I mean...I know that it's usually because we meet them and just go from there...no need to dwell on the past.

But why NOT?  Why do we not tell our life stories to each other?  I have many friends of whom I would LOVE to know the story.  But how awkward would I be, walking up and saying "O hey...what is your life story?  No it's fine...I have time."

What is a friend?  Is it simply one for whom we have memorized a list of likes, dislikes, and attractive qualities that we call upon when around this person?  Is it someone who we know?  What does it mean to know someone?

Answers.com defines a friend as "A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts".

What does it mean to know someone?

This definition seems so...intimate.  Trust involves closeness and confidentiality.  Liking involves being compatible.  These are both very close and intimate ideas.

So what is knowing?

I haven't lived very long.  I turn twenty this year.  But in my short life I have already been so blessed and knowing many people.  I have encountered countless people.  But the ones I will remember are the ones that I know.  No, there are not many.  But I hold each one tightly, fearful of losing...fearful of breaking.

To know someone, you must first learn their past, the understand their present situations, and finally help them dream about their future.  Knowing someone is to share a mind, even if only for a split second or less.

But most importantly, knowing is a journey.  It continues on.  The present becomes past, the future becomes present, and new futures must be dreamt.  As a friend, the responsibility lies on you to satisfy these requirements.  I cannot stress enough how much it is worth it.

I just finished looking at some of my sisters' pictures on Facebook.  I understand knowing someone.  I understand what it means to be a friend.  I have experienced good times, bad times, and oh dear God how I want them all again.

"I've got some friends, some that I hardly know
But we've had some times I wouldn't trade for the world
We chase these days down with talks of the places that we will go"

-Swing Life Away (Rise Against)

Is that friendship?  Simply having good times?  Or is it investing time, money, and work into something that you can enjoy for years?   Is it instant satisfaction or something that has gone through happiness, fights, and many tears?

That is up to you.  I know where I will always stand, but I would never want to sway you.  It is a choice made by you alone.

Choose wisely.