Friendships are a treasure of life. Planning a dinner out with friends or a barbecue at the park (now that summer has finally decided to show up, not even fashionably late) gives you something to look forward to while you finish up work. All of my favourite memories involve going out with friends, or wild road trips, or movie nights or making things together. Friends are people you look forward to seeing. I like the kind of friends where you can do a planned event, or sit around doing nothing, and you’re just as content either way, just because you’re with them.
Friends are also confidants. They’re the ones you open up to and share life’s mini burdens with- sharing allows you both to carry it, and feel less isolated and overwhelmed. They’re always there to pick you up- remind you of who you are, and tell you it will be okay. And when they can’t pick you up, they’ll just sit with you, and listen and simply be there.
Friends are there to laugh with you, even if you’re going through the most “unlaughable” situation. They’ll give you a little respite when you need it. John Lennon was truthful when he sung, “I’ll get by with a little help from my friends”.
Friends give without expecting anything in return. Friends extend a listening ear, and helpful advice with your best interests at heart, because they know you, and know your ways. There is selfless care extended from both sides. Friends don’t judge- they know your quirks and “-isms”, knowing they make you you, so there’s no need to hide. In the company of friends, you can just be yourself.
Honesty between friends forms deeper friendships. I’ve kept many of the same friends growing up, and there are times when we’ve separated to do our own thing for a while. A lot can change in those years. Yet when you reunite, no matter where the world has taken you, or what you’ve gone through, you can just carry on where you left off. True friendship is when you can be honest about how you’ve changed, and your friendship actually gets deeper in response, and you feel closer to one another.
Good ole’ Wikipedia defines friendship as having characteristics that include “sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, mutual understanding and compassion, enjoyment of each other’s company, trust, and the ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings, and make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend.”
If you want friends like that, you must first be one. How you talk about others is how they’ll talk about you. Let’s choose to build up the people around us, investing in them and helping them try and reach their own potential. And at the end of the day, don’t just be friends because you both dream of changing the world together. Be friends for the sake of being friends, and having someone to stand beside you, no matter what.