The Family We Choose: Why True Friendships Stand Tests Of Time
Ups, downs, distance, silence or disappointments — true friends never really part
We are all born in different families, belong to different cultures, follow different traditions, evolve differently, think differently and live differently.
We do not control where and when we are born. We do not choose what culture or place we will belong to and we do not choose the family we are born in.
Most of the relationships and relatives exist (some even without any love or mutual respect) because we had no choice. And it is no overstatement that most such relationships aren’t true — they just exist.
Probably the truest relationship in the world (the one that we don’t choose) is between parents and their children; between a mother and her child — pristine love that knows no bounds and has no expiry — a relationship that exists beyond worldly comprehensions. The only other relationships that can hope to come close to this one are true friendship and of true love.
How does true friendship develop and what does true friendship even mean?
In a world that is constantly growing in its materialistic ways, it happens very rarely that two people just meet, share, establish trust and over a period of time develop a kind of interdependence that the happiness of one affects the happiness of the other and when one cries, the other comes in support with open arms, listening ears, and empathetic eyes.
That’s a rare phenomenon. True friendship is rare and thus too invaluable to lose.
Friendship is not a concept that evolves out of Facebook or any social media. It is something that many do not even experience in life.
Because true friendship requires establishing deep emotional bonds and an understanding of each other that gradually evolves and that needs an investment of time. It can take years to truly become friends (with someone). Friendship is not an instantaneous event. It is a long process that demands time — the greatest gift we can give to anyone.
When we give our time into developing friendships, we get to actually know the true nature of people — their story, their evolution.
When we share our happiness, worries, and apprehensions, we basically tell them that though they are not family by blood, we trust them enough to choose them as our family.
And when trust of this kind is established between two people, the bonds of friendship become hardened. Such people always make us feel safe, motivated and worthy.
And when bonds of trust are forged under the heat and pressure of testing times and times of need, they become unbreakable.
When someone else’s story is as much yours as it is theirs; when a diamond-hard bridge of trust lies between two people and when each understands the emotions, needs, strengths, weaknesses, highs, and lows of the other, the forces that test relationships — distance, silence, misunderstandings, neglect— no matter how painful or overpowering they may be, become irrelevant and impermanent.
And hence, true friendship always stands the test of time. There are not many other relationships that can claim to be so.
In today’s fast-paced world, if we don’t take moments to pause, reflect and give the gift of time to our true friends and to the people who love us, we may just miss the magic that the presence of such people can create in our lives.
It is, hence, important that — no matter how physically distant such people may be; no matter how many ups and downs we go through and no matter what disagreements and disappointments the great manufacturer of time bring into such relationships — we never really part from them.
It has been very wisely told by Muhammad Ali —
Friendship is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.
True friendships, hence, must be cherished and cared for. In one life that we all live, we meet a lot of people, make a lot of colleagues and even make some casual friends (friendships that exist because of mutual benefit and therefore, are ephemeral). But, we make only a few (one or two or three?) true friends (friendships of unconditional nature that exist irrespective of interests and benefits and therefore, are timeless).
And if we hope to lead a life of contentment and happiness, true (and rare) friendships are vital as they inspire us throughout our lives — in a way they guide us at all times.