Friendship is a state of enduring affection, esteem, intimacy, and trust between two people. In all cultures, friendships are important relationships. What is the secret to enduring friendship?
C.S. Lewis had an interesting take on friendship. He said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value. Rather, it is one of those things that give value to survival.”
As the years go by, friendships grow in the value they give to survival. The family affiliations that require your time and attention may dwindle as children grow and move away. But friends remain, and today’s technology allows a lot of connection no matter how far away they are.
I’ve tried to analyze the many friendships I enjoy. What attracted me to one person and not another? What created the glue that kept us in touch over decades or lifetimes? It was interesting to see my friends through the prisms of a new partner in my life. As he met my friends for the first time, they took to him, and he to them, just as I did.
Are we all clones of each other? In some ways, yes. In other ways, we are as different as night and day. Yet we found a reason to reach out to each other and hang on over time. Sometimes it’s better not to try to analyze it but just enjoy it.
But I do think Mr. Lewis was right. Friendship is one of those things that gives value to survival.
P.S. Maintaining lifelong friendships provides deep fulfillment and meaning. To ensure that those bonds don’t fade over time, be ready to invest time, cultivate trust and honesty, and work through disagreements when they arise. Well worth the effort.