When you think of your friends or the kind of friend you are to others, how do you see yourself?
Are you one of those passive friends that occasionally gets together on special occasions but rarely sees your pals otherwise? Maybe you are lucky enough to be one of those people that has many friends and you go out with them all the time and see them often enough that they are almost family to you.
No matter how you are or how you see yourself, how we are with our friends says a lot about us.
I like to think of friendship, TRUE friendship, as a way to extend the boundaries of your family. As we draw these people into our lives, earn their trust, and in turn, they, ours. We get to a point where the relationship is almost indistinguishable from another family member.
This does not apply to all our friends. I mean, we all know people that we consider friends, but we would not leave our children alone with them for too long, or hand them the keys to the house and the new DB9 and go on a three week vacation. Then again there are people I know well that, if I had or could afford one, I would not give them the keys to a DB9… Sorry Grant and Jackie.
But through these relationships you build, you are not just getting something from them, but you are giving something as well. Good friendships are a two-way road, you both get something out of them and you both give quite a bit too. You are guiding each other through the relationship.
If the friendship is right, it can sometimes lead to more, as in the case of my wife and I. We started off and casual friends that really saw nothing in one another, that turned into a close friendship where we shared the details of our lives and then, eventually, into love and marriage. We both feel that our friendship is the basis that makes our marriage strong.
I cannot think of anything in life that is quite as important as friendship. I also think that it is also taken for granted more and more these days. In part because of things like Facebook, MySpace, and social networking as a whole. People just do not meet in person anymore, they meet online. Even when people live in the same town and only a few minutes from one another, they will meet online when they could go visit each other.
Unfortunately, I have started to fall into this process as well. I have two good friends and a sister that live within five minutes drive from me, yet we see and speak to each other in person rarely, and really, this is just a sign of where we are all heading and might just be the reason we have as many problems in society as we do.
Maybe if we spent more time sitting with one another over a beer or coffee, there would be less problems in the world and we could all be friends guiding friends.