Friendship and its varied meanings has been on my mind this week. There are so many different layers to a friendship. There is affection, sympathy and empathy, mutual understanding, enjoyment of each others company, trust, the ability to be oneself without fear of being judged and so on.
I find I have a very few close friends with whom I can share all the above characteristics but I also have friends who are more like acquaintances. I have ‘friends’ on sites such as Facebook who can and do offer support when needed even if it is only words of encouragement and virtual hugs. But these play their part too.
For me friendship is a two-way thing. I like to think that I can offer many of the things mentioned above, like support, understanding and empathy even though I cannot do practical things. When you get older friendship becomes more important especially if you cannot get out to meet people as you did when younger. Friendships should be valued and when a friendship wavers then things should be done to put it right. Like most things in life, you get out of a friendship what you put in. I am thankful for my friends.
Do you value your friends and what they offer you? And what do you offer them in return?