It seems to me these days that everyone has their own definitions of certain words. What may have meant the same thing to all of us a few decades ago, does not necessarily mean the same thing now. It’s all left up to interpretation now.
For example, the word “friend” to me means someone you’ve known personally for awhile, whom you spend time with, talk with, have fun with etc. But to someone else who maybe has 3000 “friends” on social media, that term could just represent one of many random people in their lives that follow their activity.
In this new world driven by social media friendships, online communities, bit coins used as currency, politicians and movie stars acting as gods, etc, we are a world changed. And if you choose not to evolve with it, you are or will be obsolete.
For me, however, my definitions have not changed much through the years. Sure, I have evolved with the best of them. But I still practice the manners I was raised with, and live my life on a considerable moral high ground. I can tell right from wrong, and don’t need the world wide web or Fox News to tell me how to live my life. I stay away from reality television and Hollywood gossip, and spend a considerable amount of my time reading, doing crafts, and supporting my local real-life communities.
Friend, to me, means a person who I have considerable respect for. Someone who I have met personally and have spent time with. A person who I talk candidly with, share life stories, laugh with, and enjoy quality time.
Family. This word has changed a bit over the last two years, the years of my disease. The word ‘family’ represents a person or persons who support and love me unconditionally. They don’t have to be blood related, and I do not have to have known them all my life. In fact we may have only been family for less than a year for the person to earn that title. Also do not get me wrong, ‘family’ is not something that is earned. The people in my life that I regard as family have simply shown me that they are there to stay. I regard them as family because I know I can always count on them. They are there through thick and thin. They’ve been there at my lowest points, when I’ve had nothing, been nothing. They’ve seen me through my worst hospital days, the days when I thought this was it, the end. They reach out over phone calls, emails, and texts if they can’t physically be with me in my time of need. And I reciprocate with the same ferocity of love and respect.
Support. Now there’s a word that seems to have changed a lot recently. As you may recall, I have already spoken many times on this subject. So I will not be a broken record today, and I will not get frustrated and use this post as a platform to rant. Support to me is the original definition of the word,
” 1. To endure bravely or quietly, 2. To promote the interests or cause, 3. To uphold or defend as valid or right, 4. To give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act.”
As written in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
It’s to help. It’s to lend a hand. It’s to give a shoulder to cry or rest upon. It’s a wall to to lean against. It’s a friend or family member helping out. Or even a stranger or random person on the street. It’s one person helping another. Or maybe many persons. And it should be given freely. My definition of support does not say anywhere that support must be earned. To say that is to null and void the word itself.
There are many words out there these days that leave us confused and mystified. We don’t understand the changing of the definitions because the definitions in themselves change so much to suit the needs of whomever uses them. In this day and age we have learned that we can change everything and anything to suit our needs. That very idea sickens and saddens me. But what can we do but go along with our lives and try to live them as honestly and honorably as possible.
I look forward to the day where I may look upon a person and wonder what definition they fit into for my life. Hopefully they will just be.
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