The heart of the Catholic Beer Club is community. The club was intended to bring together individuals into a group where positive, supportive relationships could flourish, and good conversation could be had. The community fostered by the CBC is directed to hopefully creating some great friendships between its members.
I think that whether we think about it a lot or not, our concept of what friendship really is has shifted a lot in recent years. It seems to me that maybe even our definition of what a ‘friend’ truly is has been changing. When I even think of the word ‘friend’ I immediately think of Facebook. So many people use ‘friendship’ and variations of the word to describe casual acquaintances, not the actual friends they have present in their life. Our interactions with all of these friends can sometimes tend to be shallow – it’s easy to like a status, post on someone’s wall, shoot them a text. But true friendship is so, so much more than that. It’s a beautiful honor to be someone’s friend, their confidant, the person that they know and trust to be there for them, and who will give them solid advice, even if it’s advice they may not want to hear.
The show Grey’s Anatomy provides a really refreshing example of a true friendship. The show follows a group of medical students as they go through the ups and downs of becoming surgeons. The main character, Meredith Grey and another intern, Christina Yang, form a very close friendship, and refer to each other as “My Person”. The term describes a person who someone is such a close friend with that he or she knows that they’re there for life, through thick and thin. The term has become so popular that it is now commonly used to express a certain depth of friendship that you only share with a few people.
A friendship like that requires work. In a time when social media is such an integral part of people’s interaction, and it can be so easy to slack off in our friendships, I think we should renew our intention to be better friends to one another. Here are some of the qualities I feel are important to keep in mind:
Be Present: True friendship includes setting aside time to focus exclusively on the other person. This might mean an occasional Skype date or phone call, but could also refer to putting your phone away and making it clear that you value them enough to give them your time and attention.
Listen: So often, I think people just crave to be heard. When we tell others about the things we’re going through, we rarely want them to respond by giving us a list of solutions or opinions regarding the situation. We just want to know that someone has heard us.
Go the extra mile: I think it’s incredibly important to show people how much you care about them. You make it even more clear to them how much you care when you sacrifice your time/energy/comfort to put them first. Sometimes it can be hard, we are all a little selfish, but when we show someone that they’re a priority in our lives we make it clear to them how much we value them as individuals.
Accept them: Allow them to be fully themselves. Have you ever had a friend where no matter how high or how low you got, they still accepted you anyway? Cultivating trust, and allowing them to make mistakes without fearing your judgment are some of the keys ways to encourage friends to grow and feel free to be themselves.
Cover photo from: http://www.mrwallpaper.com/man-tiger-hug-wallpaper/