Human beings are social creatures. Since our evolution, we have always lived in groups, mutually co-existing. Deep within us, we all realise that we cannot, and do not, want to be alone. This is the basis of our existence. This is the way we have always been, and always will be. Because friendship is not just a fad which some card selling company made up. Friendship – like hunger, survival and sexual desire – is a basic instinct.
All the most popular inventions have been around this particular basic instinct. The telephone was invented to enhance our race’s capability to communicate with near & dear ones at all times instantly. The idea for the device probably originated from the desire for wanting to hear a friend’s voice – a much more personal touch – than a letter or a telegram. From this evolved greater forms of communication – mobile phones, social networks, chatting programs, and applications like Whatsapp that enable us to stay in touch with our friends 24×7 even though they may be living at the other end of the world. Even in psychology – one of the most respected & complicated fields of medicine – the basic idea is that we all need a friend who will listen to us and understand our feelings.
Unfortunately, the world today is different. We all see our parents still in touch with their buddies from school – their best friends are still the ones they had made several years ago, and whom they continued to maintain relations with. In our generation however, lifestyle changes have changed equations radically. We are a nomadic generation – change is the only constant in our lives. We are all used to moving & setting in different cities. There are very few people in our generation who have completed their schooling & graduation in a single city, and even fewer who continue to work & settle in the same city. Thus, we are now programmed to realising that the friends we have today may not stay with us tomorrow – and that the beginning and end of relationships is an eventuality.
This is probably the reason why today, we make very little effort in keeping in touch with our friends even though there are so many different means available. Deep inside, we fear attachment because we are afraid of being hurt. But it is hard to imagine that this fear born out of hardly a couple of decades of lifestyle changes would supersede basic instincts born out of thousands of years of evolution. There is also a very wise saying that goes – “It is better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all”. At the end of the day – we all want to be loved & accepted. We all want to care for people who care about us, to be there for those who had helped us. If we don’t take the necessary steps today, chances are that we may die alone, regretting that we shunned or ignored or did not try hard enough with the people who mattered – the same people who could have held our hand at our bedside as we breathed our last.
Thus, it is never too late. No matter how busy you are with your career, or studies, or love life – find time & pick up that phone. Call, SMS, or use any of the endless instant chat services on your smart phone to reach out to the friend who hasn’t been returning your calls or messages ever since their wedding/job change/heartbreak. Send your best friends from school and college a poke or a message on Facebook. Tweet all your loving friends everyday about your feelings and how much you value them. You needn’t be melodramatic – but don’t let go either. Remember – ego is just a temporary emotion that leads to bad decision making when entertained. True friendship is so much more precious – it’s like a tiny seedling which needs nurturing, care & attention – everyday.