Friendships enrich our lives. We all need friends to share happy and sad moments with and to give us meaningful company. Friends are the real treasures that we spend our lives collecting.

We make friends at school, in the family and neighbourhood or when we visit parks. Some of us make friends easily while others are a little shy when it comes to breaking the ice and opening up in front of others. Some of our cousins are more than cousins for us, they are our best friends and soulmates.

Friends are unique because of their irreplaceable qualities. We don’t have to wear a mask in front of them which means that we can be ourselves with them. Friends love each other, help out in times of need and enjoy each other’s company.

Philosophers and scholars have described a morally superior form of friendship as one which exists for its own sake and generates its own rewards.

Along with the rewards of friendships, there are also some challenges. We find many friends in life, but not all of them remain with us forever. People get busy in their lives and their likes, interests and circumstances change.

While we don’t make friends with everyone, we should always be careful in choosing friends. Everyone has a propensity to pick up good and bad things from people around them. Sometimes we pick up bad habits from our friends or we give more time to friends in comparison to the time spent with family. A balance should be maintained between the time allocated to friends, family and studies.

Another thing which should be kept in mind is that quality time be spent with friends. Avoid killing time by gossiping about others and backbiting.

Friends can engage in different activities and different kinds of sports together. But fun time shouldn’t encroach upon study time, otherwise things spin out of control. Many friends make study groups and do ‘combined studies’ as well. This a good practice as one can learn from others and overcome their weakness in a particular subject.

But it is important that you shouldn’t compete in unhealthy activities and unhealthy ways, and always give priority to what your parents have to say even if it contradicts with your friends’ opinions and advice.

Friendships are rewarding and essential for a balanced life. They help us unwind and relax, and develop new interests and hobbies. Compatibility comes from sharing similar interests, thoughts and ideals. Give your friendships time to develop and evolve.

Good luck with your friendships!

Published in Dawn, Young World, February 15th, 2020