“One of things I like about looking at pictures when you’re young and also meeting back with old friends you haven’t seen in a long time is, for me, it’s a glimpse of who I was.” Lea Thompson
It is really amazing what friends can do to us. The way they become part and influence of our lives is intriguing. I am not endeavoring to offer a misplaced definition for friendship. Rather, lately I was wondering how our relations play a crucial role both in our development of character and outlook towards the world.
It all started last week, when I received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number. Usually I don’t return the favor. But somehow I felt an urge and very politely and humbly enquired who the hell it is! It turned out to be a ‘she’ instead of ‘he’, a long-lost friend of mine, who suddenly decided that she needed to talk to me. Though I am not planning to disclose the identity of the person, it would suffice to say that we had a special relation to each other. I reeled back almost fourteen years; back into the school in Aluva, Kerala where I completed my schooling…(back ground music of impending flash back story)
Our small school with ocher colored buildings, narrow staircases and loving teachers was nothing short of paradise. It is here that I learned the value of friendship. Our group of five friends, were inseparable. We had great fun together. We had the same tastes, same ideas and together grew to know each other and the world. Though we were confused pubescents, we all had each other to hold our hands. We always used to share our concerns and troubles. Those were innocent and happy times.
But somehow she became distant from the group. Even though we tried to patch things up with her, she continued drifting apart. Insecurity and jealousy slowly seeped into us. Each of us wanted to turn the other into themselves and undoubtedly failed in the endeavour. Though we had feeling for each other our ego proved to be a unscalable wall between us. So much to our distress, it ended, and in a bad note too.
So after years when I heard from her, I was super excited. I came to know that she is married and settled with two cute children, the first-born looking just like her. We started ruminating on old memories and remembered how we influenced each other to become the people that we are now. That is when I started philosophising on friendship.
Surely, being a social animal, humans can only be defined in reference to the society they live in. How a person relates to the society explains how successful he or she is. That is why people we meet and mingle with are so important. Our outlooks and philosophy are developed from the community we chose to live in.
It is undoubtedly crucial, for the development of one’s personality, to acquire new relations from time to time. Each new person we meet, is a textbook of unique thoughts and ideologies. Without being judgmental, if a person can mingle with and learn from them, he will grow. Because growth, be it mental, spiritual or ideological, can be achieved through the web of relations in the society.
But personally I feel that it is our childhood friends that influences us the most. Researches reveal that a lion share of someone’s personality is formed before one hits puberty. Apart from our parents and siblings, it is our friends and teachers that determine who we will turn out to be. Hence what we are today is the product of the experiences that we had with our close ones in our childhood. So being in touch with them is as important as being in touch with our true self. Moreover, these rascals know all of our secrets and it is safer to keep them in our side rather than in the opposite!
Keeping in touch with soul mates helps us in many ways. But most important would be the aid they provide in our life decisions. Many a times when I am vexed, and have an important decision to make, I turn to my buddies who has known me for decades. Without fail, they give me the right advice. Being familiar with my outlooks, values and preferences, they can easily guide me when I myself am blinded by confusion and indecision.
If there is something more joyous than getting together with old friends, it definitely is getting back with them. It is like finding your precious childhood toy while cleaning the attic. There are so many memories associated with it that it fills us with joyful tears. Suddenly we fall back decades and start reliving the ecstasy and joy of early years.
Everyone has a deep craving for getting back, but prejudices and ego stops them. We expect our old friends to contact us even though we can very well do the same. I believe it is time to let go of that ego and find time to patch the long-lost relations. Let that be your act of goodness for today.
So what are you waiting for, pick up your phone and surprise that old rascal!!