FamilyFriendship

How Friendship Creates A Path To Self-Discovery

The value of friendship can never be overstated. The plurality of humanity insists that we not only coexist, but we also connect. Through meaningful connections, we are able to discover truths about ourselves, as well as those truths that govern the universe that surrounds us.

As we share experiences, information, and emotions, our lives become enriched by one another’s presence and we ascend to higher plains of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

Though we may enjoy the silence and stillness of solitude, we were not created for isolation. We were designed for touch, crafted for conversations, and engineered to develop imperishable bonds. Our individual strength is limited and constrained, but when coalesced with another’s we experience a notable synergy that defies mathematical rules or explanation. With less exertion and effort, collaborating allows us to exceed the ceilings of singular capabilities and achieve beyond our imaginations.

Friendship is a relationship that is not burdened by quid pro quo. True friendship is itself an endless, self-nurturing source of provisions. Friendship has very few adversaries. The few that have the power to dismantle friendship lack the stamina to destroy it. Time has the most interesting relationship with friendship. Time has often co-conspired with distance to weaken friendship and dilute its potency. Even if time is successful in its plot, it offers itself as a foundation for friendship to be rebuilt and restored. Time plays both protagonist and antagonist in the bonds of friendship. It pushes and pulls; it instigates and mediates. In all of the roles that time plays in the life of friendship, it refuses to facilitate or justify finality. It offers itself as hope and the conduit for reconciliation.

The unique properties of friendship reside in the basic premise of choice. Of all the relationships that rival friendship, it is the only relationship that both parties must consciously choose to be a participant. Through this choice, friendship is able to claw its way above the supreme stature of family. First, friendship imitates and emulates the family bond and then it transcends it. The relationship between family members is predicated upon shared genealogy and biology. Friendship has no scientific points of kindred connection.

Friendship survives, thrives, and relies on free will and the concerted effort of one or both parties to conserve and preserve its existence.

To anoint another as a friend is to vest one with inalienable rights and responsibilities for the full life of the friendship and beyond. It serves us all to not only seek friendships but, more importantly, to foster and nurture friendships to full maturity. The idiosyncrasies of our existence demand that we surround ourselves with people we consciously choose to love, trust, and cherish. Through that choice, we are able to fully develop our own consciousness and solidify our individual and collective purpose for existence.

In short, we cannot define or create who we are without one another. Therefore, we must choose our friends carefully. We owe it to ourselves to allow only the people who emanate the light that shines within us in our intimate spaces. Whether for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, our friendships are the most direct and definitive path to self-discovery. TC mark

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I collect vinyl, write books, and cook better than your mom. Follow Tony on Instagram or read more articles from Tony on Thought Catalog.