No matter which area of life you’re involved in, perhaps the most important — hence perhaps the most difficult — vocation a person can choose is friendship. Friendship extends far beyond acquaintanceship which is to merely know someone. It is more than a mere bond because there are various kinds of bonds.

There is the bond that one has with family. In this type of bond, the parties involved rarely ever choose themselves. They find themselves in the situation and mostly have to stay that way. Business contracts are also a type of bond but in this case you are obligated by law to carry out certain measures otherwise you will be penalised.

Friendship is a social contract in which case you choose your preferred partner or partners and have to deal with them in the same way you will deal with an ideal family. Obviously, people make friends for different reasons but those who you choose to keep, on the other hand, there are certain responsibilities involved and that is what makes it such an important vocation.

The friends you keep greatly influence the type of person you are and the type of person you’ll become. That is why it is said, “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” The company you keep is a reflection of your inner reality and convictions hence the saying, “misery loves company.”

Other than how much your friends influence you, there is also the matter of how much you influence your friends. This, perhaps the most important part of being a friend. In your group of friends, what type of person are you? what role do you play? who do your friends consider you to be? Every individual has something which they bring to a group, something that is intrinsically linked to their person.

That being said, the goal today is to find out firstly, how much your friends influence you and in what direction they do. Secondly and most importantly, how much do you influence influence your friends and in what direction? Friendship is a bond that requires constant greasing for it to move forward despite the frictions that may occur.

Are you the type of friend who people can call when they don’t feel good about themselves in the hopes that you can cheer them up? Are you the friend who people reach out to when they need to sharpen their ideas or when they need to make important life decisions with the hope that you can give a bit more insight or point them in the right direction if you yourself can’t be of help? Are you a friend who is willing to suggest as well as make corrections? If you are not that type of friend and if you don’t have that type of friend, it’s time today to reconsider your relationships.

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