The Power of Friendship
Monday is Valentine’s Day. While this was once a holiday almost exclusively focused on romantic love, it has developed into an opportunity for giving extra attention to all the many relationships that enrich our lives and a good time to reflect on the power of great friendships.
Friendships connect us with each other and with the world around us. When social interaction is limited, friendships blunt the impact of isolation. When difficulties or losses turn the world wrong side up, it is almost always our relationships with others that help us get things upright and settled again. Life’s bright joys become more meaningful when we can share them with those we love and, in the dark moments of crisis, it is to those who love us that we reach out for help and understanding.
The opportunities for friendship can be found in the everyday activities of our daily lives – at work, through our kids, in worship, throughout our neighborhoods. Sometimes it is a shared interest, like a hobby or a cause, that brings us together. Other times, it can be the proximity of being in the same class, working the same shift, sharing a commute, or even sitting on a committee that can bring us together. Activities such as sports or the arts can also spark friendships. In particular, great relationships are often forged around social and community issues.
Friendships develop and are sustained through values like openness, integrity, respect, trust and transparency. Good friendships often sprout from good listening and their growth depends on continuing to pay attention to the needs of one another. Having friends and being a good friend has a far-reaching impact on how we engage with the world around us.
Adventist HealthCare is blessed to be a community of caring professionals whose diversity of disciplines, backgrounds, responsibilities and roles are enhanced by the community of friendship. I love working in this organization and have deep appreciation and affection for those with whom I work. I hope that is your experience, too. Our calling is to be living valentines – embodying the teaching of Jesus to “Love one another” (John 13:34). Valentine’s Day is a welcome reminder of how important being caring and compassionate makes a difference in how we interact with the people we love, work alongside and meet each day.