livinglifefully.com

May 21


Friendships are fragile things,
and require as much care
in handling as any other
fragile and precious thing.

Jennie Jerome Churchill

  

Today's Meditation:

Once we become friends with someone, it's very easy to start taking that friendship for granted.  Just as we often do with siblings, we treat our friends as if they're always going to be there for us and with us, no matter what.  And somehow, we never start thinking that this relationship just might take some work not just to maintain it, but to help it to grow and thrive.

What kind of work can we do on our friendships?  Well, we can listen to our friends when they speak, and learn about their likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, fears and desires.  We can encourage our friends when they need encouragement, and we can respect their perspectives on life and living.  We can make an extra effort to spend a little bit of time with them, doing nothing but being a friend.  We can babysit their kids, or watch their pets for them.

And since friendships are fragile, there are other things that we shouldn't do.  While we can give advice, we certainly shouldn't tell our friends what they should do.  We shouldn't stand our friends up, assuming they'll be okay with it because they are our friends.  We shouldn't share their secrets with others, and we shouldn't criticize them harshly when we don't agree with them.  And we most certainly shouldn't expect them to be there for us if we aren't willing to be there for them. 

Many people treat their friends in these ways already, for they recognize that a friendship--just as any other relationship--takes effort to maintain and to help it grow.  Most of us, though, simply don't sit down and consider what we might do to improve our relationships (I'm very guilty of this myself), and that's a shame, for in neglecting this aspect of our lives, we keep ourselves and our friends from enjoying deeper and more satisfying relationships.

Questions to consider:

Why is it often easy to take friends for granted?

What kinds of things could you do today to improve the friendships that you have in your life?

What kinds of things damage friendships?  How do those things tend to happen?

For further thought:

Taking friendships for granted is one of the
surest ways of ending them.  Unless nourished, they tend to wither and die.  Unless we earnestly desire its continuance we should never start a friendship any more than we would a love affair.

Alice H. Rice

   

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