Bountiful Harvests:

The Cultivation Of Friendship

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” – Alice Walker

A good friend inspires us to grow, to better ourselves and reach for the lofty heights of our true potential. Any person who intentionally holds you back from your success, who seeks to compete rather than to collaborate, is not a friend but instead a potential adversary. That’s not to say that the antagonists in our lives cannot propel us towards improvement and accomplishment, but rather that these people are not true allies and as such certainly cannot be trusted or relied upon in any lasting sense.

“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.” – Ally Condie

The journey each of us undertakes in life must, at least at times, be navigated alone. The paths of friends that once intersected our own will likely diverge, no doubt propelling those we care about into far away lands, or into inhabiting radically different lifestyles than our own. This isn’t only justifiable, but necessary. As you and your friends alike flourish in life, your bonds will assuredly be tested and at times even irreversibly altered. Take care not to become resentful of those things transformed before your eyes. Instead, embrace the changes as they unfold. In the process, you’ll discover who your true lasting friends are, which bonds have the deepest roots and which must be cast away for your own progress in life. Above all, be grateful for the experiences you’ve already had, even if those responsible are truly lost.

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” – C.S. Lewis

Friendship isn’t specifically a requirement for your existence, but it certainly has the potential to enrich or strengthen your experiences in life. Having allies by your side as you work to overcome life’s challenges can be make the entire journey more comfortable as well as profound. Your perspective can be greatly enriched, expanded or reinforced by exposure to the varied points of view of the companions you surround yourself with. Likewise, learning how to give to other’s, to be enriched through acts of selflessness, is another opportunity provided by the presence of friends, another opportunity for you to advance.

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” – Kalu Ndukwe Kalu

While the actions undertaken in life for self satisfaction or aggrandizement may bring positivity and growth to you personally, it is the undertakings that benefit those outside of yourself that emanate the furthest and last the longest. Each and every person you impact positively in your life is altered for having met you, and they in turn will affect those they encounter differently as a result of your influence. It is in this way that you may exceed your physical body’s limit for altruism, leaving behind a continued legacy of enrichment that persists long after the inevitable expiration of your physical form. Create or impart that which seeks to improve the universe, so that you may experience true enrichment yourself.