Thinking about friends…

So my daughter had a friend over this weekend for a sleepover, and I was reading some biography assignments from new students in several of my classes, and it got me thinking about the concept of friendship. In the human language, the label of ‘friend’ can be placed on other humans in a variety of different ways. We can do it casually to complete strangers when we need help “hey friend,can you help me lift this?” and we can do it with our oldest relatives and life partners “my wife is my best friend” as well as everything in between. The math/science/logical side of me started analyzing friendship as a formula, and I believe that friendship has a direct correlation with proximity. What I mean by this is that in order to acquire  maintain and use the label of friend, proximity is needed. By proximity, I feel this has three different components: proximity of physical distance, proximity of personalities, and proximity of skills and abilities. The proximity of physical distance is the easiest to explain, as we often develop friendships with people in our families, our neighbors,  co-workers, classmates, and anyone else we are in close proximity to on a regular basis. The proximity of personalities refers to developing friendships with people who share our values and beliefs, who simply are “like us”, and most importantly “like us back”. The proximity of skills and abilities means we develop friendships with people who are ‘complimentary’ to our own skills and abilities. Not necessarily having the same skills and abilities, but compatible and mutually beneficial skills for the two in the same proximity. For the kids in my classes who enjoy and value their friends, or for the kids who struggle to make and maintain friendships (and I count myself amounst the later) – study this friendship paradigm and develop your own. This paper, and this one continue this discussion, but maybe Dr. Sheldon Cooper had it right and it’s just a matter of following the flowchart. Wachs out!


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