The purpose of friendship – what do you think?

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My friends are my family and they know that. I’m bad in the sense that I don’t always text them that often but they’re always in my thoughts; even old school friends who I haven’t necessarily kept in the loop. I do however stay updated with them whether it be by just having a nose on their social media. I do realise the mistake in this but it’s an easier way for me to check in on them from time to time as I can’t exactly just drop everything and travel from london whenever I feel like it. I wish I could but I can only catch up when I’m home for the holidays and even then that is only a limited amount of time. People have their own lives, they move on, they work. But I often find myself longing for how it used to be. I miss the familiar faces but I do know that if ever we see each other in passing it’s always back to how it used to be.

And I like that.

I’m sat here writing all of this on a park bench in the middle of Saigon, Vietnam. A group of students have just stopped by and asked to film me learning simple Vietnamese sentences; that was fun. It’s weird how the thought has just struck me now though. I guess I’m regretting not keeping in touch with people as much as I should have. After all a simple text really isn’t that hard to send now is it.

But in light of this topic, I’d like to discuss the interconnections and relationships we have as human beings. What exactly draws us, as people, together? Is it the whole opposites attract idea or the complete opposite? Do we base our relationships off of what we need from someone. For instance we all have that go to friend for advice or the friend you want to let your hair down with.

 

I guess if you asked me this question years ago my view on the matter would be different. Blame it on the high school culture and the idea that popular kids don’t mix with the non popular kids. Fortunately this was never exactly the case with me. Yes I was in the ‘it crowd’ so to speak but the way my year worked out was that we all kind of mixed well together. More so in the latter half of our education. I would like to think I also mixed in with the majority of people. I made friendships that my group never necessarily made and I’m so glad I did. It’s these guys that I miss from time to time. They’re the ones I stalk.

Sorry not sorry.

Don’t get me wrong I miss my closest friends terribly when I’m away and I have done ever so much on this trip to Cambodia and Vietnam. But, I know I can and will always see them whenever I like. I’m regularly updated with their lives and its such a joy to see them moving forward and creating new paths for themselves in life. We, like anyone you meet in life, are massively different to one another and that’s what glues us together. I like to think that I’m the ‘voice of reason’ within my friendship group back home and even though they hate me for it sometimes, they know I coming from a place of truth and just in terms of what I think and how I perceive the world.
 

As I’ve grown older I’ve noticed that I find beauty in people completely different to me, they give me an opportunity to learn and to grow. Yes, its much easier to form a connection based off common interests but I challenge you to do something new. Speak to a stranger and get to know them. They might be worlds apart from your norm and you as a person but sooner or later you’ll realise you’re not so different from one another after all. I’ve tried to embody this on my travels here in South East Asia through both the locals and tourists who fly past you from city to city.

I once read that life was all about perception and how you see the world. If you’re only ever looking into the word from one viewpoint how are you going to see the beauty and magic from all of the other different viewpoints around you. You have to allow yourself to see; see with your whole eyes, not just the eyes of someone who has lead you to believe that this is the only sight to see.
 

Sometimes that person is yourself; I know that.

Harper Lee paints it perfectly.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb inside of his sling and walk around in it.”

Out here on the road I’ve been witness to the kindness of humanity and strangers. From simple directions to general help, from an invitation to join people throughout the night to free lifts on the back of a motorbike. And it doesn’t end there. If you put yourself out there, people will come flying right back to you.

I do believe that.

The purpose of friendship to me is about being open; open to both the old and the new. Open to new people, new worlds in fact. If you branch out people will climb on board. They will listen but so will you. You have friends throughout different stages of your life and as selfish as this may seem they serve you. They have a purpose. Just as you have a purpose and serve them. It works both ways. Never forget that. It’s about showing kindness and gratitude to your friends for being there in the hard times as well as the good times. It’s about having the courage to tell them when they’re wrong and being able to accept when you are also in the wrong. Friendship is the purpose of life, your companions aid you on your journey just as you do them. You needed them once and you’re sure as hell going to need them again. So keep them close and shower them with both your gratitude and your love. When you meet someone great, hold onto them because it’s within each other that you find your own greatness.

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