I would not be who I am today without the friends that surround me. Yes, my family has been important as well, but emotional richness, strength, and the real vitality friendship has brought me seems never to lack the attribute of surprise.
My life has had a whirlwind of ups and downs and calling it an emotional roller-coaster would be an understatement. Through the years, though, the friends I have had who stand by my side as I grow and mature or fall and stumble, these have been some of the most valuable assets in my life. They not only catches me off guard but are by far the closest things to why my heart is still maintaining a rhythmic pulse. I have been sobered up to the fact that my friends do have my back and I underappreciated them consistently.
There is a multitude of conversations we could entertain for this topic but the there are two threads I will post in a moment. I did not originally intend for this article to be in this format, but alas here we are.
Now I am not the originator of this terminology, and actually, it comes from a cheesy business marketing group that I will leave unnamed. Here is a definition for you. "Givers gain is a philosophy based on the law of reciprocity. In the context of networking groups, people who adopt this philosophy dedicate themselves to giving business to their fellow networkers rather than making their foremost concern getting business for themselves." Source
I believe that the context of friendship could have similarities. If rather than focusing on what we can get out of the relationship and just invest, invest, invest the ramifications will be worthwhile.
Now giving in a relationship may just be simply making time to grab a beer and listen to the struggles your buddy is going through, shooting a text about how much you value them, or showing up and being present in life, engaging in conversation, and practicing empathy.
My hope in talking about this mentality is to provoke men to take the initiative to invest in relationships without the intention of getting something back. To truly be a giver and not being focused on what you can gain. It may be a bit cold to approach friendship with a business mentality but in my biased opinion what would life be without good friends? Who wants to be isolated? Friends are a worthy investment. Now choosing the right friends is a whole other story but at the end of the day IF we want good friends WE need to give to others.
If you are anything like me, though, you are cynical of those around you and doubt the worth in giving others your time. Life has been brutal in teaching me that my judgments are seldom accurate and those whom I did judge have become some of my best friends.
So who can you give a call or shoot a text and start giving into their lives because you authentically appreciate them?
The rare commodity of comradery.
Friends are the siblings God never gave us. Mencius
I do not think men vocalize the amount of value they have for a good friend. I have had many conversations with individuals who just want to be loved and appreciated, people who are seeking to belong and just have a good friend. I used to get overwhelmed by the desire to be everyone's comrade, but due to the lack of time and capacity, this longing got pushed to the side as I began to hone in on the friends which I had and loved dearly.
One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives. Euripides
After I was able to focus on and invest in the friendships, I decided I valued I was and continue to be blown away. I love how Henry Ford put it "My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me." I could not agree with this more I have encountered the breath of life strongly when I am in the presence of those who love and know me.
Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer. Jean de La Fontaine
So please, please take some time right now to reach out to those who are invested in your life and let them know their value. If you do not have any friends at this level, then go out and find them. I am a firm believer that there are good people everywhere you just have to dig for them. It takes hard work to find good friends, but it is worth it. Fight the good fight. Find a good friend.