“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
The other day I rushed to a local cafe to talk with a good girlfriend. For weeks, we tried to catch up; between the both of us we are juggling careers, families, and oh yes, finding time for ourselves. So, when she texted me, I set aside the time.
As we neared the end of our chat, she said something seemingly innocuous but quite profound. “Let’s set another time to talk, and then get together.” With a sense of urgency, she nudged, “Let’s really do it.” “Yes.” I said, immediately connecting with her point. “Sunday works for me,” I said, and we hung up.
Somewhere amid the weightiness of obligations that become our lives, friendships begin to feel like a luxury. Some nights after putting Naima to sleep, I have chosen the comfort of my bed over returning a friend’s phone call.
My girlfriend’s comments the other day reminded me friendship takes work and commitment – especially at this moment in our lives when loosing ourselves in doing for others is easier.
The deep sense of connection we form with other kindred spirits is vital to our own health. According to a New York Times article, friends can extend our lives. The piece cited this interesting finding. “A 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends.”
Cicely Tyson and Kerry Washington made headlines recently when they talked over brunch for hours; these two friends, with decades between them, share numerous similarities such as initially pushing against the disapproval of parents to follow their desires to act. As the time together ended, Cicely gently urged Kerry to take care of herself. Her words demonstrating the depth of the two women’s bond.
Yes, friendships matter immensely, and despite obstacles we encounter with maintaining them, holding on is crucial. So, call your friends, cherish them, these relationships nurture us at our core, teaching love, growth and empathy.
Live In Color! – Emelda
Tell us about your friendships! Is it a struggle to hold on to some? How do you stay connected?