The question is why anyone would need a friend anyway! The answer is simple, it’s in our nature; human beings don’t seem to live alone for long; as the old adage says it all, ‘’no man is an island.’’ We need to interact socially with other humans. Social interactions fulfill our emotional need. We need food to survive and keep our body functional, foods keep us physically alive; likewise we need social and emotional connections with other humans to keep ourselves psychologically alive. Most of the self help books explicitly or implicitly talk about four fundamental dimensions of human life: physical dimension, social and emotional dimension, spiritual dimension and mental dimension. If we exercise each of these dimensions of our life successfully on a regular basis we are ought to grow and be successful in life.
In gist, to exercise our physical dimension, we are advised to eat nutritious, natural and whole food instead of tasty, sugary, high caloric, processed and artificial foods that inundate our superstores and shopping malls. We are also recommended to remain physically active rather than living a sedentary life.
In the spiritual dimension, we are encouraged to find meaningful purposes in life which would fulfill our deepest desire to be connected with something bigger than ourselves.
To exercise our mental dimension we need to learn something new every day in order to grow in all other dimensions; without perpetual learning from authentic sources we seldom are ready to face new challenges that life may bring forth; without facing new challenges and creatively solving them we rarely show any mental growth in life and we may physically and chronologically grow and become old but mentally we may remain and act like premature children. In the words of a bestselling author, ‘’education – continuing education, continually honing and expanding the mind – is vital mental renewal.’’
Finally our social and emotional needs are met when we connect with other humans. Individuals who are highly spiritual may have strong connection with their Creator from whom they derive all kinds of inspirations. Other type of human connection can be between our family members, relatives and friends.
Perennial friendship is usually made between like minded people and people with similar values and life styles. For example a person who smokes would prefer the company or friendship of another smoker, likewise an individual fond of football game can be found among other football aficionados. A friendship that is conscientious and built on mutual trust and principle is bound to touch many lives positively and exponentially. Two creative friends together can accomplish more than what they can achieve alone. History gives us numerous examples of enduring friendships between scholars, writers, scientists and technologists.
Our individual values or lifestyle may change from time to time depending on our priorities and understanding of life but principles never change. As we know there are laws of physics that govern the physical world e.g. gravity laws, thermodynamic laws etc; likewise principles are universal laws that rule human interaction and relationships. Honesty, love, kindness, industry, good character are few examples of principles that were here for eons to rule human life. Great men always lived by principles. At the end a quote from Albert Schweitzer, ‘’in everyone’s life at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.’’