Nicole Bensen

Finding Friendship

Do you ever just grab a book, open to a random page, and see what lesson or insight pops up?

I just did that with “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and read these words (bolding mine):

“Friendships allow us to express parts of our beings that we seldom have the opportunity to act out otherwise.”

“Friendship is not enjoyable unless we take up its expressive challenges. If a person surrounds himself with friends who simply reaffirm his public persona, who never questioned his dreams and desires, who never force him to try out new ways of being, he misses out on the opportunities friendship presents. A true friend is someone we can occasionally be crazy with, someone who does not expect us to always be true to form. It is someone who shares our goal of self-realization, and therefore is willing to share the risks that any increase in complexity entails.

Unfortunately, few people nowadays are able to maintain friendships into adulthood. We are too mobile, too specialized and narrow in our professional interests to cultivate enduring relationships. We are lucky if we can hold a family together, let alone maintain a circle of friends.

People believe that friendships happen naturally, and if they fail there is nothing to be done about it but feel sorry for oneself…but later in life friendships rarely happen by chance: one must cultivate them as assiduously as one must cultivate a job or family.”

Since we just moved, I’ve been looking at ways to make some local friends, so it was interesting that I just happened to grab a book at random and get to a page about friendship.

What do you think about those paragraphs?

Who are most of your friends? Have you known each other since childhood? Meet at work?

BTW, if you’re feeling lonely, here are some tips.



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