Investing in Friendships Brings Great Rewards


-Do not protect yourself by a fence but rather by your friends.-

A friend was confined to a wheelchair after a debilitating illness. After the initial shock he came to terms with his now permanent condition. Consequently, he withdrew from large social gatherings and rarely ventured outside. However, this lifestyle choice was not vastly different to the one he led when he was completely healthy. During that time my friend chose to lead a relatively solitary life with few friends and out of the community arena. However, this solitary lifestyle now led to an exceptionally lonely existence, no friends visiting, isolation with one’s private thoughts and considering the recent prognosis of permanent disability, my friend’s mental health was in decline. It was truly tragic to witness this course of events.

Having explained the situation to a friend, they replied that my friend chose to have few acquaintances and therefore the fact that few came by would not be any different to what my friend was previously accustomed to. Another friend stated that formerly he was able to walk and therefore, was not confined to indoors making a big difference to his current state of mind and his routine. Irrespectively, watching my friend alone with few friends visiting was saddening. Is this the way an individual is to live out their remaining years? I know personally I would prefer to be surrounded by family and friends but this is my choice, not necessarily the choice that my friend chose. It all comes down to the choices we make in life and each choice has a consequence. Had my friend actively been involved in community groups, made good social connections no doubt he would be surrounded by great company. However, he chose not to and consequently spends most of his days listening to words of inspiration for comfort and companionship.

My friend seeks solace listening to words of inspiration through religious prayers. He finds this to be extremely comforting and it is how he spends most of his days. Amazingly it is often after an illness that many find hope, strength and courage through words of inspiration via prayer.

Having friends is a great asset, to be present when you are experiencing difficulties, hardships, sharing your celebrations and stories, jokes, giving advice or simply listening. Friends are certainly worth their weight in gold. It is not necessarily the number of friends you have but rather the quality of the friendship that counts. It is only during difficult periods that you rely on friendships to get you through the rollercoaster of life. Having trustworthy friends certainly makes the experiences of life a pleasurable one so make the effort and invest in quality friendships it makes the passage of life more gratifying.