What value do you place on your friendships? If you are like many, not enough. Many of us don’t appreciate the value of people until they’re gone. Sadly, my college track buddies and I lost a good friend about six weeks ago. His energy and enthusiasm for life were contagious which accounted for his large friendship base. He had been coordinating a track reunion with another member of the team, but lost his life before the reunion happened. While we still went through with the gathering, as he would’ve wanted, his absence was deeply felt . Over the weekend we shared stories of our friend and agreed that he found his purpose in helping and serving others. His loyalty as a friend and integrity as a person garnered him tremendous respect and love from others. He showed us how to be a good friend and is sorely missed by all of us.
Friendships take effort, energy, and time, especially when people relocate to far away places. While social media can make staying connected easier, research has shown that we are more disconnected than ever before. The problem with social media is the connections are often limited and superficial. Friendships grow from face to face interactions with meaningful and significant conversations. Sharing thoughts, feelings, and listening intently creates connection. Real friends are there for the good and bad times, and know when to listen versus guide.
Sometimes we neglect our friends or harbor bad feelings, but like all healthy relationships, forgiveness and releasing negative emotions enables friendships to survive times of conflict. Research has shown that the support of friends can add years to your life. The benefits and value of having deep, personal, and intimate friendships strengthen our physical, emotional and spiritual being. Decide today to develop, nurture, and grow your friendships. Life is too short and our connections become our legacy.