Friday, July 1, 2011

Friendship, the gift that keeps giving…

I felt really inspired after a conversation today to write about the sheer power of…friendship.

Seriously, you don’t have to watch Sex and the City to realise that the power of friendship really transcends all manner of life’s troubles, ups and downs, events, successes and failures. Though the high profile series does emphasize sex and relationships, you can’t miss the fact that underlying all of it, there is a bond between four friends that moulds their lives together.

And today, after speaking for only half an hour with my best friend over Skype (after 40 minutes of every connection and technological difficulty known to man!), I was once again so buzzed up and psyched, that I can safely say I won’t be sleeping tonight.

For me, having a great relationship with another soul, on that level that you can speak freely about everything you want, share all your troubles and happiness, share trivial and stupid, serious and painful things, to me that is the greatest interpersonal achievement in life. Of course, it may take a whole lifetime to realise what friends are, who those true, stay by your side, through thick and thin people are, but it is always worth it. Just as people are willing to do many great things in leaps and bounds for love, I think the same applies to friendship.

And many people say that friendship between a man and a woman cannot exist, without one party feeling romantic feelings for the other. I am happy to say I have had many purely platonic friendships, in great part thanks to the fact that I work with men on a daily basis. There is so much to learn and glean from the male perspective, and men are willing to share their side of the story, troubles and successes, with a woman who can just listen…

…Just listen. Sometimes I think that’s what a friendship is all about. It’s great to have a friend who can give us a pep talk when we need it, but I think a human being’s greatest psychological need is just to be heard sometimes. To just have someone listen to our lives, no matter how banal or chaotic they may seem. Sometimes it’s enough to give someone your time and your ear, and to show them that “I want to share your life story”.

The best thing is that friendship really has no boundaries. It crosses race, age, status, religion, physical characteristics. Relationships sometimes fail to take off due to prejudice regarding these factors. But friendship is a gift that can be offered freely, because in the beginning people usually don’t think much of the encounters that lead to friendship. A chat with your local barista, sharing your seat with someone on the same route to work, seeing the same dude surfing at the spot every week… These incidents seem like one-offs, until we are willing to make the connection and just engage with the other person.

It’s impossible to explain fully how paramount friendship is. Friendship I would say is the glue that holds life together. You cannot choose your family, and many times your family take you for granted because they expect a good connection with you by right of blood. Not always so. The same way an unattended friendship can wither and die, the same way a lack of respect and feeling of friendship within family, can lead to resentment and entitlement.

So friends are the family we choose, and hopefully keep for life. I know I definitely cherish them above all else; they are the light to my flame!

Copyright © 1 July 2011 at 8.08pm SoulSurfer


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