I am grateful for friendships. Although I am not the easiest person to get along with, I feel deep appreciation for those that care enough about me to stick with me through the hard times. It’s easy to be a friend when times are good and the laughter comes often. I am struck with the knowledge that a friendship, although often forged in times of comfort and rapport, shows itself in it’s true nature when times are tough. Personally, I think that this is what defines a true friendship – people who stay with you when it would be a cinch to cut ties. Friends are a treasure that can not be bought, but ought to be hoarded.
The amazing thing is how we form friendships in the first place. In my own life, they have often come in situations where I have a high degree of familiarity. I am not an outgoing person by nature and I am much more willing to sit in the background and observe what is going on around me. I am immensely grateful for people much more outgoing than I who took the first step and introduced themselves to me and we were able to strike up a conversation and find mutual interests. I think it is in these beginning conversations that I have found those that have similar values and beliefs. Although, I must say that there are a number of others that I am friends with that have different values from myself. Sometimes they have very different values and that is just fine.
That said, I think that the strongest relationships are those where we do share deep values and belief systems. Values and beliefs have a strong emotional component to them and when we find others that share those beliefs we also share an emotional connection – somewhat akin to love, I think. Not in the romantic sense, but more along the lines of family and it allows us to create a deep bond with others. This is true especially when the values that we have and see in others – whether they really have those values or not – are in those identity values. Those are the values that when we speak to ourselves or others we say “I am this kind of person or that kind of person.” When we see other people with those same identity values, we attach ourselves to them and seek to be a part of their social circle.
I am grateful that I can have such a relationship with my wife. Our core values are similar to one another and our identity values are closely aligned as well. I suppose that is why we have been married to one another for over twenty-five years. I have also learned to value her judgment and her advice has always been one that I could depend on. That is a friendship that I hope to never lose.