Lasting Friendships Badge

Itzl and Shika, Sunning

Originally uploaded by nodigio

Step One: You’ve discovered some people with whom you have some deeply shared passions and understanding. These people provide you with inspiration and put a smile on your face as you wakl doen the street. In good times adn bad, you know you can depend on them as much as they depend on you. You’ve got each other’s backs, and it feels safe and liberating. Sure, it took a lot of time and care to nurture these friendshops, but the people were worth every second of effort.

Step Two: The abiding love between friends is the one thing we can count on in a world gone crazy. You’ll always have someone who understands you, who will listen when you want to rant, who will feel safe ranting with you, who will engage in impetuous acts with you, and share their chicken pox with you. Think of the friendship shared between Damon and Pythias. Euripedes once said, “One loyal friend is worth 10,000 relatives.”

And here are some more quotes about the importance of friendship:

There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself – an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly.

What sweetness is left in life, if you take away friendship? Robbing life of friendship is like robbing the world of the sun. A true friend is more to be esteemed than kinsfolk.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

What is a friend? I will tell you… it is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.
Frank Crane

If you have one true friend you have more than your share.
Thomas Fuller

Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

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

Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Step Three: Define your relationship. Spend some time daydreaming about what makes your friends special to you, what qualities make your friends friends. If you want, you can list these qualities. The first step to a truly great relationship is to imagine what it should be like.

Step Four: Make time for your friendship. Think relaistically about the time it would take to make your fantasy friendship into a real one. People don’t spend enough face time with one another to create the friendships they want. Prioritize your time and how you spend it. Separate out the things you can do anytime and the things you can only do once. A friend’s wedding is more important than the next episode of American Idol. You can always catch American Idol on re-run or Tivo it or tape it or find it on the web somewhere. Schedule time to be together in ink – make a set time you’ll spend together – maybe it’s a corny movie night, or a dinner date, or a shopping trip, but set a time just for the two of you and make it a high priority time, only a disaster or a true emergency could cancel it. Make it a habit to meet or contact one another – instead of killing time with Minesweeper, send your friend an email or IM, or make a phone call. Do something kind for your friend – and do it often. Small kindnesses like having his or her favorite candy in your candy dish when they visit, or sending a card in snail mail just because, or scraping the ice off their car with them so it goes quicker. Make eye contact when you’re talking to your friend Too few of us look at others anymore, we’re so busy texting on our phones or browsing the web on our iPhones or whatever that we simply don’t look at people anymore.

Step Five: Take the initiative. You can’t change someone else, but you can change yourself. So, decide how you want to treat your friend,a nd begin doing that. Maybe it starts with something simple like clipping comics you think they’ll like, or letting them set the pace when you walk together. “Date” your friend by planning a special event once in a while for your weekly night together – a trip to the zoo or the mall, maybe. And show your appreciation for your friend – tell them you enjoy being with them. Spend time helping them with important tasks – like organizing photos, or taking a class together. If you share a hobby or passion, spend time together doing that.

Step Six: Tell stories to one another. Tell stories about your life, your dreams, your aspirations to your friend, and listen when he or she tells you their dreams and stories.

Step Seven: Be there when your friend needs you. Whether it’s to help them move to a new apartment or help them balance their budget, or stand up with them in a protest march or if they go on strike – be there. With coffee and donuts (or the equivalent). If you’re there for your friends, chances are, they’ll be there for you.

Step Eight: Claim you badge!


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