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Why friendship is the foundation of everything

Why meaningful relationships are the foundation of everything (and I mean everything).

We live in world of quickness. Instant everything. You want attention, you post and get likes (social validation), you want love (or a quick f**k really) you got it through the plethora of dating apps available. Information you say? No worries, it’s at the tip of your fingers (yes, the google). You want food but don’t want to make it, all good, just get it delivered in a few taps, don’t even bother ordering it over the phone, it’s archaic!! Barbarous you say!

HA. I’ll tell you what, I use some of these services too so I’m not pretending to be a virgin of the phenomena of instant pleasure. Nevertheless in our office one of the topics that we discuss a lot is the need for a process. Naturally this makes sense because we are made up of programmers and self-proclaimed strategists (that’s me) so it makes sense that processes, process mapping, process planning and all of those fancy words that basically mean ‘steps’, come into our daily conversations. But the most fascinating (and perhaps one of the most overlooked) processes that we discuss is the one involved in building meaningful relationships.

Because let’s face it, everything is about people. Meaning in life comes to be because of people. You know that phrase “No man is an island”? Precisely. Not because one can’t be alone but because there is no point in being alone; there is no meaning in a lonely existence. The meaning of our lives is measured based on the impact that we have on others. It is based on how we connect to others and how relevant we become to them. Don’t let anyone tell you differently (telling you that life is about wealth or success or asset accumulation), life is, has always been and will always be about people. You disagree? Give me a call and let’s discuss. But for now, hear me out (or read me out rather)...

The problem is that today, we usually skip the in-between of things when it comes to socializing with others. We want everything immediately. And the real problem isn’t receiving a quick dose of pleasure but rather not being aware that what we miss out on - when we skip the process - brings us more satisfaction than the end pleasure that we (in our narrow view) consider the ultimate gain.

Let me illustrate, it’s not that big favour a friend does for you that is the most valuable element of the friendship but rather all the moments you spent together building and growing the friendship (the late night munch, the movie watching, the funny drunk nights out) that led to that nice act of friendly support. Similarly, it’s not the kiss at the end of a first date that is the most valuable element (even if it is the most memorable!) but the flirting and the smiles and the joy of the entire dating process itself.

And so, I think that we are losing something that is intrinsically ours with this whole “process avoidance” that is facilitated by technology, when it comes to the way we socialize and build our network of people.

We are losing our humanity. Not because we are becoming obsessed with the ‘wonders’’ of tech and connectivity (online friendships, dating, communities, etc.) but because we are actively not being human. We continue to skip and more terribly even escape from the socialization processes that take time. This is a mistake because these processes allow us to build a pool of people who support and love us; and it’s these people who turn us into who we are, through the personal growth that we experience when we meet and share with them...in person.

Don’t be a fool, and better yet, don’t be a coward. Go out, meet people, experience other points of view and be challenged by others. All of this will help shape you into the awesome person that you will become. And God have you got potential...cultivate it through people.

Meet real people and be part a community!