^z 28th September 2023 at 8:54am

"Being There" by David French (NYT Gift Link) is a beautiful ode to friendship – including:

... the first commandment of friendship:
Simply being there ...

It concludes with the author's advice to some young people:

Stay together, I said. It's going to get hard. Your kids are young. Your careers are just starting to take off. But stay together. Be there, even when it's hard. Even when it's inconvenient. After I got off the call, I kicked myself for not remembering a quote by C.S. Lewis: "Friendship is unnecessary," he wrote, "like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival."

That single quote says so much. Compared with the competing demands of family and work, in any given moment friendship can feel unnecessary. But as the years roll on, and countless justifiable individual absences wear down our relationships, there will come a time when we will feel their loss. But it need not be that way, especially when our simplest and highest command is merely being there.

... and that's what friends do!

(cf Friendship and Meditation (2012-11-06), Stand by You (2017-01-11), Friend Sits by Friend (2018-07-04), Unconditional Friendliness (2018-08-10), What Friends Do (2019-11-26), ...) - ^z - 2023-09-28