Is a Friend in Need a Friend In-deed?

‘A friend in need is a friend indeed.’ There are many variations of the saying, sure. But who exactly came up with the original? Why; and what does it even mean? More importantly, does it even make sense? This exploration could do us all a load of good, and here’s why.

This is one of the phrases in the language that is interesting because there are various interpretations of the meaning. Firstly, is it 'a friend in need is a friend indeed' or 'a friend in need is a friend in deed'. Clearly, that would have a bearing on the meaning. 

The 'in need' is also open to interpretation - is it 'a friend (when you are) in need' or 'a friend (who is) in need'. If the former, then the phrase means: 'someone who helps you when you are in need is a true friend'. If the latter, it is 'someone who needs your help becomes especially friendly in order to obtain it'. 

So, that gives us four options:
1. A friend, (when you are) in need, is indeed a true friend. ('indeed')
2. A friend, (when you are) in need, is someone who is prepared to act to show it ('in deed')
3. A friend, (who is) in need, is indeed a true friend. ('indeed')
4. A friend, (who is) in need, is someone who is prepared to act to show it ('in deed') 

There is no unambiguous right or wrong here and this is a phrase that we probably infer the meaning of from context when we first hear it. There are contemporary variations too, you will no doubt have heard “A friend with weed is a friend indeed.” and the like. Whichever of the above options we initially elect will cement our understanding of the phrase; probably forever. This does not make it the only option to consider.

It is quite fascinating how many different interpretations of the phrase there are as well as the technicalities that can emerge out of them. However, all interpretations basically boil down to a theme revolving around: Favours between friends. This applies to everyone and surely causes mixed reactions. Before the phrase is lost in the skirmish of interpretations, let us consider it from another perspective and bring freshness to the fore.

To divulge, consider this: A friend in need is a friend in need. That seems to be more appropriate as an all-encompassing phrase. To be frank, when the time comes to lend a helping hand to a friend, or ask for one, there is no denying that it is a friend, and a favour. Despite possible/probable inconveniences, there is definite reason to engage in the ‘good Samaritan’ approach. Give your friend some help. Remember, it is a ‘need’ not a ‘want’.

Let’s face it; no one wants to be a hindrance but at times situations require external assistance and one should not adopt a ‘don’t ask me’ attitude because all in all, it could be you. 

With extracts from: <http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/a-friend-in-need.html>


This One is Deep

I'm going to set a few records straight... Christians are NOT perfect nor should we claim to be. At the same time imperfection should not be used as a crutch, we know exactly where we stand on our faults. Christians should not share their faith without love in their heart or with an overbearing demeanor, though it is done many times. 

Christians should not be hypocritical, we are born into sin just like everyone else. Christians are NOT an accurate depiction of Christ, as He is perfect and cannot be matched. Christians are merely ones who were lost in sin and searched for One that can carry them through the harsh realities of life. We are not able to 'save' anyone, all we can do is show others who saved us from our sin. It is not us, but the Love of God, the example of Christ and the movement of the Holy Spirit that draws men in. 

Christians do not know the Bible back to front, but we all have a testimony that is God-given, truth breathed and cannot be taken from us. We try as best as we can to follow the teachings of the Bible so as to show our love for God to grow ourselves as God's children. When a Christian approaches you to share the Gospel, he is not doing so to make you look bad, he is doing so because he has never felt so free and so alive knowing that he no longer carries a single burden alone, and wants to share this freely-given gift with you so that you may experience it personally. Sharing the Gospel is one of the greatest forms of love that we can share. Christ died on the cross for everyone, whether you believe or not, for our sins and we cling to that perfect sacrifice every day we live. 

Claiming to be a Christian is one of the biggest responsibilities that one can have as we are depicted as Christ-like and this is the only physical way the world can see what Christ was like. 

Do not look to Christians, rather look to the one we follow, Christ, for a glimpse of pure love, perfection and truth.

By: Matthew G. R. James


When Cellphones Replaced Lighters

It is time for some ‘light’ reading. Firstly, the title may confuse you. I’m not talking about trying to use your cellphone for setting fire to inanimate objects such as paper, trees or cats. No, what I’m referring to bears a much more metaphorical meaning, borne from a real transpiration.

Recently I attended a James Blunt concert in Port Elizabeth. Granted, he is very talented and I personally enjoy his music. During one of his songs though, I think it was “1973”, which is ironic as you will find out later on. Anyway, during the song, a large portion of the crowd whipped out their cellphones and if you didn’t know better, you’d think they were going to hurl them onstage. Alas, that would have probably been better as what they did next disappointed me like little else could.

The crowd took out their cellphones and made sure the screen light was on. Once they were assured of this, they proceeded to jab their phones into the air and wave them above their heads in a slow rhythm, in time with the song. Again, one may not quite understand the meaning of this unless you are familiar with concerts of ‘the old days’ where instead of cellphones being used for this effect, lighters would take the rightful place. 

“What a sacrilege” I thought to myself. Since when did electronic devices begin to disrespect the significance of the lighter for this purpose? Traditionally, when a harmonious song is performed live, the crowd shows their appreciation and reverence to the music by flaming up their lighters while emotions burn within their hearts. This new-age notion of the cellphone replacing the lighter is absurd and does just not cut it.

Remember that irony I mentioned? Well, here it is. As far as I’m concerned, real musical talent henceforth real music is anything and everything produced pre-1980. Since then, the ‘electro era’, music has spiralled downwards towards a lacklustre cacophony of untalented, uninhibited cluster of, essentially, white noise. This; all thanks to electronics. This brings us back to my moment during the 1973 (a pre-80’s date) song in the concert when I realised that most* contemporary ‘music’ is soulless and even more meaningless. I believe that this genre is referred to pop (popular) music and it, quite frankly, makes me ill.
* Except for music that does not require electronics

It is no wonder that parents of today, who no doubt listened to pre-80s music, cannot relate to the contemporary crap of today. Back then, songs were written about matters in society that actually meant something, not (and I shudder to say this for the subjects’ lack of substance) imbecile orientated noise based on ‘chicks’ and ‘partying’.  It is just horrid. There is no way that any person can appreciate and deem contemporary musical slander even close to the authentic pre-80’s counterpart. Adapting voices by means of computer programmes and pressing ridiculous buttons on a synthesizer should fall under a completely separate category of its own. It’s like comparing cellphones to lighters; the two are just different and should never be considered to bear similarities.

Before this gets carried away, let me end by saying that if you are one of millions who splurge your blessed sense of sound on so-called ‘pop’ music, I ask that you reconsider. When you can appreciate music from before 1980, then only can you understand what real music really is. I urge you to attempt to cognate that which came first, that which is purposeful and that which holds its own in light of the modern-day ‘music’ industry.

Now, put your lighters up.


Spontaneity - To do or not to do?

Did you consciously put time aside to read this? Did you even know that you were going to read it? Or, did you just click on a link and go for it? Spontaneity; it is something we could all probably do without. Or could we? For now, keep on reading!

I personally like to plan everything I do. This way, you know what is going to happen and what must be put in place to make it happen. Also, you will have a good idea of what exactly the outcomes will be. When all this is weighed up, you will be able to decide whether or not it is a good idea to go through with the plan. Life, then, becomes streamlined and you won’t have any regrets or undesirable implications placed upon you.

This is precisely the opposite of what the beast of spontaneity intends. Now, life is not always possible to predict. There are many occasions when the unexpected happens and you have to deal with it. Such occasions are generally one’s which you have little or no control over. The difference comes in when you are willingly spontaneous, something that I am trying to tame, although maybe I should not. 

Very often I will be minding my own business and keeping myself pre-occupied when suddenly an opportunity (usually in the form of a friend) will arise. “It sounds good to me, let’s do it!” is my usual response. As I utter these very words I will get this queasy feeling in my gut that tells me that I have not thought it through and that this goes against my planning ideals. 

Nevertheless, I carry on and the more time that passes by, the more I realise what a silly idea it is. No turning back now. Well, I could turn back but it isn’t in my nature. Once I’ve made the commitment I feel terribly obliged to carry it through. This does not bode well with spontaneity, I have found.

I remember about two years ago, in 2009, my Dad called me early one Saturday morning and asked if I’d like to take a drive to drop off a package for a friend of his. In my state of semi-consciousness I agreed and before I knew what was really happening, I found myself dressed and ready for the trip. 

I was asked to drive (which I love doing) from Queenstown to Aliwal-North some 170km away, and back, making it nearly 350km in total. Sure, I was told that I would be paid and that was quite a persuasive manoeuvre. Spontaneously, I agreed. It woke me up early, took about five hours to get there and back including things I had to do. I missed out time with my friends and only ended up being paid exactly half of what I was promised. Given another chance, it would have definitely been turned down, no thanks.

Another option would have been to tell a ‘white-lie’. This, I am very talented at. Unfortunately the chances of me telling a white lie vary and quite inconsistently. Usually when I have time to think it through a white lie will be the best option. Otherwise, I get spontaneous. Here’s a hint: It’s much easier to tell a white lie when body language and tone of voice are excluded from the equation. 

Not everything spontaneous is bad however. I have done many things on impulse which have turned out to be very enjoyable. Often someone will suggest something which I am not too keen on but go for it anyway and it turns out to be one heck of an experience. Ever wonder why, whenever you plan a party, it never meets your expectations? The best times are spontaneous times. That’s why when a party permeates from little it is guaranteed to be a blast. I once heard a saying that goes, “In thirty years from now you will regret the things you did not do more than that you did do.” So, if a spontaneous opportunity comes your way, take it. Learn from it if it goes badly; if not, enjoy it and make it worthwhile.

When I left on my way out to Aliwal-North I promised myself to never be spontaneous ever again. So far, no good. Life is for living. 



Don't do love, don't do friends
I'm only after success
Don't need a relationship
I'll never soften my grip

Don't want cash, don't want car
Want it fast, want it hard
Don't need money, don't need fame
I just want to make a change
I just wanna change (x4)

I know exactly what I want and who I want to be
I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine
I'm now becoming my own self-fulfilled prophecy
Oh, oh no, oh no, oh no

One track mind, one track heart
If I fail, I'll fall apart
Maybe it is all a test
Cause I feel like I'm the worst
So I always act like I'm the best

If you are not very careful
Your possessions will possess you
TV taught me how to feel
Now real life has no appeal
It has no appeal (x4)

(chorus repeat twice)

I'm gonna live, I'm gonna fly,
I'm gonna fail, I'm gonna die,
I'm gonna live, I'm gonna fly
I'm gonna fail, gonna die, die, die, die

(chorus repeat twice)

Oh, oh no, oh no, oh no