Watercolor Alliances:

The Necessities Of Friendship

“There’s not a word yet, for old friends who’ve just met.” – Jim Henson

The bonds shared between friends are often life affirming in a way that few other things can equal. While not a requirement for personal prosperity, having the support of a true ally, someone who accepts you in spite of your faults, someone who helps to amplify the best aspects of your character, can be an incredibly powerful asset. To simply meet another like-minded person in the midst of the chaos that surrounds you is joyful, but to find someone that you really, deeply connect with, is profound. Don’t take the friendships in your life for granted. Always be favorable to your allies, so that your souls may be nurtured mutually.

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” – Aristotle

A good friend seeks to protect the well-being of their confidants with unwavering commitment, very much akin to the way they protect themselves personally. Because friendships are mutual, each friend volunteers some amount of selfless generosity which is in turn reciprocated by the charity of the other party. When a friendship is lopsided, it loses its stability because one individual is giving more than they’re receiving. Over time, this transaction will likely diminish or embitter that person. When a friendship is balanced though, when it is healthy and fully mutual, each party actually receives more from the relationship than they initially invested. It’s an experience that is truly greater than the sum of its parts, as the whole of the relationship doesn’t just replenish the resources exerted creating and maintaining said relationship, but actually enhances both individuals even further as a result of this thing they’ve mutually built, this new interconnection that they’ve willed into the universe.

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” – Elbert Hubbard

A real friend will challenge us, perhaps highlighting our flaws or pointing out our mistakes, but they always do so with positive, productive intent. Our closest allies may know our darkest secrets, yet they love us regardless. Our character has been evaluated and approved by another fellow traveler, a shred of favor imparted to us by a person who is also in the process of navigating the chaos and who has acknowledged the connections, the similarities, between us. It is incredibly compelling to receive the resolute support of an admirable comrade just as, In turn, it is at least equally as uplifting to give it.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Maya Angelou

A proper act of charity empowers your soul. It not only physically helps others, but moreover also invigorates your individual well being. When you receive the benefits of another’s generosity, as when you yourself act selflessly, it reaffirms a more positive perspective on the world because it reminds you of your connectivity to others, of the reality that your struggles and sympathies are shared mutually with humankind. Excessive generosity to the point of self destruction should be avoided, but regular acts of selflessness built atop a strong personal foundation will not diminish you. Instead, these acts will enhance not just your own life, but everyone else’s as well.