Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that gives value to survival. It provides fellowship, dependability, camaraderie, collegiality, and community. Without these things, we’d not only be helpless, but hopeless.
Friendship is something which nearly everyone agrees is worthwhile in life. It’s like we were born with an instinctive urge to communicate, to speak about life on the edge, life in the shadows. With my two best friends, the conversation is never over. Before them, I can be sincere and think aloud without guarding my thoughts. They are the ones I take on the world with, the ones helping me achieve my dreams, the ones that bring out the best in me. There’s a lot of ‘why’ people in this world, but my best friends are the ‘why nots’. We became friends not because of perceived advantages but because of our admiration of each other’s virtues. But over the years, I have found that there is not one type of friend that is best on all occasions and in all situations. I have some friends who I’ve known since we were wearing braces and knee-high socks. I have some friends who I met last week, who I’ve shared beers with, laughs with, or challenging times with. Some are like brothers and some are my ‘sit around and contemplate life’ friends. The great thing about friendship is that no two friendships are ever going to be exactly the same. Different people are in our lives for different reasons, and our relationships with them are reflective of that, so don’t resent a particular characteristic in one friendship, or attempt to make a friendship something that it’s not. Instead, appreciate that friendship for exactly what it is. With that said, many of us have gotten used to living without “friends of the heart” and instead passing our time with “friends of the road” — friends that are good for a laugh and a beer, but not much else. Everybody should be searching for a friend of the heart; someone who—if you just admit that you don’t know how to do something—-will fall over themselves trying to help. Some people spend their entire lives looking for these people without any luck. In your search do not be short-changed by choosing personality over character, and in a group of friends, make sure that every voice is heard, every question is asked, and nothing is taken for granted.
My friends know that I am always out looking for the next adventure or the next opportunity to get myself into trouble, and as a result I’ve ended up with some pretty great stories. I love to tell stories; stories about experiences, accomplishments and all kinds of failures, and for some reason I always figured my best friends would be the ones who were willing to listen. I finally gave up that philosophy when I realized it wasn’t true. The truth is, my good friends already know all my best stories, but my best friends don’t need to be told, because they were the ones that lived them with me.