This post was originally featured at Radical Scribblings as part of the TTC/MK VBT 2012.
Friendship is… *
…laughing until you can’t breathe.
…strength when you feel weak.
…light in the darkness.
…singing embarassing old songs in the car.
…phone calls at any hour.
…better support than a good bra.
…permission to indulge.
….more than mere words.
Everyone’s experience of friendship is a little different. And it changes as we age, as our personalities and priorities shift, as we learn more about the world and ourselves. But at its core – I think – the concept of what makes a friend is always the same. I could be wrong. Nonetheless, here’s what I think.
Friendship is caring about another person’s well-being. It’s about giving a damn. It’s about taking a moment to exist outside your own bubble and share the experience of life with someone else.
It is easy to lose sight of true friends in this digital age when we rack up hundreds (or thousands?!) of so-called friends in the social media realm. Old friends from High School who “like” your status from time-to-time, former co-workers who send you game request by the dozen, neighbors past and present, relatives you haven’t seen in years…sure, they are friended you, but are they real ‘friends’?
If you were stranded on a lonely road at two a.m., would they crawl out of bed and come to your rescue? Okay – maybe that’s a bad example. But really – when you need them, how likely is it that the girl you had a study group with one semester in college will be there to pick you up, brush you off, and set you back up on your feet again?
People are a vast and frequently surprising set of variables that appear upon the line graph of life. Sometimes, they pop in, change your whole world, and pop out again just as quickly. There are those with less influence, and those who affect a broad spectrum of factors in your world. Others are there for the whole tumultous ride; be they caught up in your gravity and propelled along passively or actively hanging on and making the effort.
It is this final type that I strive to be and to recognize in my own life. It is that type which we should celebrate and cleave to be they living in the next room or thousands of miles away. Those who provide support and positivity. Those who are more than just “likes” on a Facebook page. Those who build you up when life has you low, those who celebrate your highs as if they were their own.
Those who care. Those who give a damn. Those who matter.
Friendship is one of the crowning jewels in life. It is something to be cherished and kept close. Its something I think a lot of us take for granted and like the art of letter writing, cursive penmanship, and conversation – it is something that is being overshadowed in this increasingly digital age; something that is in danger of being lost.
I’m guilty of not always treasuring my real friends as I should. I don’t call as often as I ought; I rely on text messages and Facebook comments to keep in touch. But I think acknowledging a flaw is the only way to start correcting it. Because friendship is…
…vital to mental & spiritual well-being.
…worth making the effort.
…walking toward a person when everyone else is walking away.
…the best gift under the Christmas tree.
…sun on your face after a cold, wintry night.
Love & Rainbows,
P.S. What does friendship mean to you? What do you think I got right – or wrong – in my little rant today? Have you been guilty of not being the greatest friend? How did you work to be a better one?
* = The caveat is that this is just how I see friendship. Because like I said, everyone’s experience is different.