The Value of Friendship

"We can choose our friends, not our family." Friends are the secondary relation in all of our journey in life. Friendship brings that sense of "belonging," of feeling deeply appreciated by people we care for. As I've grown older, I have learned that friendships will come and go and that although the size of your circle will decrease, the value will increase.

As society has become more mobile, we have been able to value friendships as highly as family. For some, we may even relate to these individuals more deeply than our blood relations. These friendships have to be cultivated and nurtured to be truly meaningful over years. Social media supposedly enables people to make new friends on sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. But unfortunately some of these online friendships are more "virtual" than real. This bond created through your computer/tablet/phone screen is often anything but meaningful, and is actually a way of not engaging deeply with others. The Internet is a powerful tool and can ironically serve to keep people apart. As much of a fanatic I am of social media, it too can never replace the authenticity and intimacy of face-to face interaction.

I've had many friendships I thought would last my whole life, but life surprised me, as it often does. As I look back, each friend or relationship that I’ve had made perfect sense for me during that time in my life. I believe people are brought together for each person’s maximum spiritual growth. When the growth is done, it’s time to move on. Sometimes outside circumstances seemingly force the relationships to shift and move apart; other times it’s a decision you consciously make to walk away.

Friendship is precious; priceless as a matter of fact. Although it’s not always easy to find, I am adamant that there is good in people, and that there are people that still have family values and decent morals. Surround yourself with people who see your value and remind you of it.

Candy Tong