The Importance of Connection
No, we don't mean your wifi connection. This is an ode to friendships.
By Chelsea Covington
We all know that friendships shift and change with time, and currently, one of our greatest concerns is whether humans are becoming less social, preferring to spend time on their screens rather than seeing loved ones.
This was particularly prevalent during the recent pandemic (can we say recent? It's been three years), where people could go no further than their doorstep, and their friendship circles diminished every time another lockdown was announced.
Thankfully, those days are long gone (fingers crossed), and we're all spending as much time as we can outside and with friends. Okay, some of us are– no judgement. Today is a celebration of friendship and community. Even, dare we say it, romantic love, cannot always provide the same substance that our friends can.
With patience and radical tenderness, we can feel heard and held by our friends in a way that even a romantic partner might never do. These friends become fluent in the language of each other, understanding emotions, events and experiences before others who sit outside their inner circle.
Friendships are some of the most life-changing and self-affirming things that we will ever experience, providing a discourse which can sometimes span our entire lives – if we're lucky.
It is the one constant through falling in love, falling out of it, raising a new generation, moving jobs, house and countries. It can lift us from the depths of a dark day and bring us back to earth when we act like we're off it. They can be a hand to hold during a diagnosis and a hand to hold before diving into the Atlantic. Our friends will be there through the greatest and gravest days of our lives, constantly metamorphosing into the shape we need them to be in that moment.
The idea that monogamous love is paramount to all other love is ingrained in many cultures, with movies and music repeatedly playing out the same scenes. It is consistently portrayed as the epitome of what love means, that all other loves seem less significant.
We're celebrating a different narrative that puts equal weight and emphasis on the bonds we form with friends and our romantic ones. Our friendships provide care, support and protection, which is given and received in a multitude of forms. The friendships and communities we live in are the things that understand us, support us and sustain us.
Through these ties, we develop our understanding of ourselves and others, developing trust, sharing values, and deepening empathy with those who are different from ourselves. We can break down barriers, build bridges, and bring about a better world through our friendships.
Many of our lives are built around our friendships, determining where we live, what we do, how we act, actually who we are, and where a relationship might fall apart; the friends you keep around you will provide a buffer to the world you lost and the world you always had.
Our friendships and our community are the catalysts to creating real change, real connections, and real meaning in our lives.
This is a reminder to reach out, tell your friends what they mean to you, ask to go for that coffee or swim.
Whatever you do, we want you to remember to celebrate the people that mould you, shape your interests, and drive you to see your fullest potential, especially when you can feel alone or lost. They can help you come back to yourself again and again and again.