Why Bother Treasuring Friendships?
From the time I was eight until I was fourteen, my family moved every two years. As a result, none of my friendships during that time lasted very long. Even after my family settled down and lived in the same house until I moved away at eighteen, I’d learned not to trust in the longevity of most relationships. Changing addresses as often I’d changed mine, taught me to be wary. I lived with uncertainties, never knowing when my circumstances might suddenly shift and without warning, be forced to pack up and leave. Unconsciously I formed the habit of taking a precautionary approach in my connections with people. I believed that the less I invested in a relationship, the easier it would be to part company, something which became an inevitable fact of life for me.
But, that particular belief no longer holds true for me. Instead, I’ve learned to treasure friendships, no matter how long or short the span of time I get to enjoy them.
Transitory and Long Term
Though I’ve lived in the same community for forty plus years, longevity in one place does not guarantee long lasting relationships, but friendships have a better chance to survive and thrive when we do stay put. The longer we live in one place, the more opportunity there is that a friendship will take root and anchor itself with strong, deep roots.
Still, not all acquaintances desire deep friendships. They are more comfortable remaining casual and in the shallows. But when I notice someone’s interest to move from surface formalities to in depth exchanges, I am eager to nurture those possibilities. Yet, I have to remember there are no shortcuts to long lasting friendships. For some, it takes years to trust enough to confide in anyone. But when consistency, and integrity are in place, others will see our genuine intentions for friendship and the relationship will grow in its own time.
I know from personal experience that having a few close friends who know me well gives me confidence to reach out and invite others into a friendship. Though I know not everyone wants or needs me as their close confidant, I also know it doesn’t hurt to make an effort to be friendly.
With friends, we are supported in hard and harried times. They know our bents, propensities and weaknesses, yet they do not use this information against us. Friends give each other the benefit of the doubt, and believe the best about us. They listen with patience and respect our opinions. No matter how outlandish we may think or behave at times, friends know how to bring us back to our senses.
Why bother treasuring our friendships? It is worth it to value our friends near and far, old and new because without them, we’d be impoverished paupers.