Friday, October 30, 2009

Of valuing friends and everlasting friendship

A lovely weather- a slight nip in the air, a crisp evergreen smell in every breath you take - is by and far the next best thing to piping hot coffee on a rainy day. And a walk taken in such weather elicits sufficient thoughts, if the mind is allowed to think. So today, during such a walk, my thoughts centered around the virtue called friendship.

Friendships, people say are important because they are one's own making. No one can force us to be friends with someone, nor can anyone force us to not be friends with someone. Who we choose, how we choose, why we choose is entirely of our own making and volition. So in a way, it is a big deal, since we almost pool in life's experiences and our value systems when we pick our friends. Doesn't seem like we put in so much of thought before extending that hand of friendship.

Which then brought me to my line of thought today. Why are friends valued differently by different people? If it is such a big deal, whereby one's value systems and learning of life are literally being tried out, why do some people make the folly of choosing the wrong friends? Why do some set sky high expectations from friendship, only to return disappointed when the relationship gets built on a shaky foundation of one-sided trust and belief? Do chronic loners honestly never feel the need of a friend? Are they at peace with their aloofness? Tough to believe, for after all man is supposed to be a social animal! So, why do some value friends so much, while some are willing to treat friends like a spanner - use and throw? Then again, why does one person in a friendship value the friendship more, which can be seen by the angst he experiences when it doesn't go right, while others perhaps don't seem to care as much? Don't memories of past good times ever come back? And don't those memories urge one to get together with those one left behind?

The criteria used while making friends is certainly a mirror of one's own characteristics. But I also feel that valuing a relationship is an even deeper part of the value system. Every return - tangible or intangible needs a sufficient investment of effort. And the motivation towards that end comes from one's value system again whereby one wants to make a success out of every endeavor. Unfortunately, friendship is not an entrepreneurial venture. It takes 2 to make it work, and the fights and squabbles are the true tests of friendship. If the effort to resolve a dispute doesn't come through, one needs to realize that that acquaintance was perhaps never meant to translate into a friendship!

Which then brought me to another thought - one of barriers to friendship! Sounds weird, but I had written a piece before on Girls as Best Friends. Thinking a little more along those lines, I have realized that this is something that is psychologically impossible. Unless, one has forged those friendships ages ago, when life still revolved around school uniforms, lunch breaks, blackboards and pencils. I thought about it. William Kane had a Matthew Lester, The Count of Monte Cristo had a Jacabo, Jay had a Veeru. But Kate Blackwell... ummm had David Blackwell - her husband! Lara Cameron - ummm... no one. Laurie Montgomerie had Jack - again not another woman! So are we supposed to take a hint here and give up on the expectation of women remaining thick friends for life? I guess yes...

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