I value all kinds of friendships. I recognize that there are several degrees of friendship from the casual friend who is a neighbor or maybe a workmate, to the closer and more personal friend who brings you joy simply by knowing him or her. And, of course, many friends are “in-between” for any number of reasons.
I place a premium on friendship. It is more than an acquaintance, and we have lots of acquaintances. Friendship cannot be a meaningless word that is misused, diluted or feigned. For example, “social media” has watered down the true essence of friendship potentially by creating intangible friendships with people we may never really know. It quantified friendship making it cool to have some absurd number of connections and call them “friends.” I take issue with that because it can be a dangerous façade, and it can lead people down an unsuspecting path where they don’t even know what to look for in a true friend.
I do realize social media has grown and changed over the years, and various platforms enhance certain types of relationships (i.e., business marketing, information exchange, career enhancement). I think that’s fine.
The more I value a friend may mean that a person possesses more of the traits that I consider incumbent of great friends. My spectrum looks like this: Kind-hearted, Respectful, Harmonious, Ego-in-Check, Listener, Sharer, Carer
Friendship is hugely multi-dimensional! These seven attributes are important to me because I found that they lead to lasting and enduring friendships. I have a handful of friends who bundle all these traits into their being. They are friends for life. We pick up where we left off. We don’t have to gab on the phone for hours, or even visit often. We understand each other and forgive each other, naturally. We enjoy each others’ company. We laugh.
I also have a lot of friends with all these traits and I love them dearly, but we may not be as close. Time, commitments and life dictate one’s availability to foster and nurture every friend to the same extent. But I am happy to share a bond with them and call them my friends. I hope they consider me the same.
Lynette Magnino As a free lance writer for almost 20 years and a communications professional within corporate and non-profit environments for the better part of 35 years, I put words to paper, tell stories and convey messages. Feature stories, press releases, brochures, newsletters, scripts, proposals, business plans and many other creative media represent the breadth of my "product" provided for healthcare services, educational systems, boards and associations, and faith/ministry organizations.