Life is difficult to deal with by oneself. Humans are inherently pack animals, and we tend to accumulate friends along the way. Friendships are important as they tend to teach us social and development skills that help us later on in life.
Most adults maintain an average of three to five friendships, although most times we only have one or two friendships that can be considered “close friendships”. This doesn’t include one’s “acquaintances”, which differ in that an acquaintance is someone you know and spend time with only on occasion. Friendships are a little more involved in that you know each other’s intimate details and spend an INCREASED amount of time together.
All of this is to say that friends come and go. Some experts believe that the average friendship will only last about seven years. If you manage to find a friendship that lasts longer, you’ve certainly found something special.
Almost 25 years ago, I found a young lad who had quite the chip on his shoulder. I met him at a neighbouring karate club. Given that I was a few years his senior and higher ranked than he, I decided to take him under my wing and befriend him. Although my initial intentions were to help him in his martial arts development, our association grew into a friendship that’s endured for more than the past two decades.
As we grew together, we learned together and it became a friendship more valuable than I could have imagined. Time and different paths in life has caused that friendship to fade over the past few years but I learned many important lessons along the way.
Friendships are important. They help to maintain proper brain health. Friends help us to deal with the situations of life, deal with stress and often provide an impartial sounding board to bounce our life’s choices off of.
Although the benefits of friendships are many, they normally don’t last forever. But as time and friendships fade, it’s important to remember the lessons you learned and the impression those friendships made. Whether good or bad, each one has left an impression that’s helped to mold the person you are today. ☯