One of the most critical and widespread words in English Vocabulary, a prefix or an adjective most likely to be used in the future before every word that would create a significant impact on our lifestyle is the word, “Sustainable”. This word is most likely to be coined as the word of this century a few years from now. As the gap between the scarcity in the availability of resources and its demand would continue to rise, a “sustainable living” would genuinely become the need of the 21st century. In our environmental studies in school, “sustainable development” would have been prevalent. Thus, this word truly has far-reaching consequences and how powerful this word will be in the future years where everything would be associated with sustainability. I have therefore coined a new term which I like to call as“sustainable friendship.”
Now the obvious question that you might be wondering why I am mentioning this here. You might have so many thoughts about what does this mean. The answer lies in the subsequent paragraphs.
When the world is getting quicker, faster, snappier and where the art of patience is a rare virtue to possess, it has had an indirect impact on the level of people’s friendships. The longevity of any friendship increasingly becomes difficult to sustain. The social media age has led to the creation of more introverts than needed. As a result of all the factors mentioned above, people find it extremely difficult to sustain trustworthy, deep-rooted and long-lasting friendships. Friendships are more meaningful and profound when they are based on creation rather than consumption. For any friendship to blossom between two individuals, it is essential to connect emotionally well with the other person & trust him/ her. The resultant effect of this would be a strong and deep friendship with that person.
What are the two wheels that keep the chariot of any friendship going?
They both compliment each other beautifully. If either of this gets weakened, then the other one does a fine balancing act. If you dislike any person but have unconditional trust in him/her, then even in the darkest hours, your friendship survives. Even in cases where there is mistrust between two individuals, they like each other, the friendship survives.
A combination of an abundance of love and bountiful trust leads to a Jay-Viru kind of friendship, one on which endless stories and friendship tales can be written. In such cases, the friendship blossoms just like a fresh sunflower. However, when both of these is missing or having been in existence but disappears for whatsoever reasons, that marks the end of a chapter—enough indications to suggest that expiry date has been reached.
Sustainable friendship is a long-lasting friendship that requires a perfect blend of these two wheels to function in tandem that keeps the engine of friendship running at its absolute best. What is the result of this? What do we achieve? The result is a pure, long lasting & a strong friendship. It isn't easy to quantify long-lasting in absolute terms as it might vary from case to case, person to person.
Why do I say so? This is because situations change, place of residence changes, etc. It also depends on the efforts made to have durability.
The third important pillar after trust & love is mutual respect in my opinion for a sustainable friendship. Respecting individual space. Respect for each other’s thoughts, ideas, viewpoints, feelings, and most importantly, the person's nature. There’s a famous saying which goes that “There is no cure or medicine for human nature”. It is challenging to change the original nature of any person for anyone. Maybe the intensity of the cons of having any character can be reduced but not completely nullified.
The key lies in accepting the individuals as they are, finding beauty even in their imperfections. There’s nothing right/ wrong or good /bad about this because everyone is human after all. Some can be ice-cool, some can be short tempered. Some can have a charming nature and a warm personality, but some still can be disliked. Some can be stubborn while some can be docile.
There’s absolutely nothing good or bad/ happy or sad about it. It is what it is. Every human is different in appearance and nature, and that's what makes every human special in its own way.
For any friendship to be sustainable, it has to tick off all the three above mentioned boxes. The result is truly worth experiencing, and I am a firm believer in having sustainable friendships.
Understanding each other is a subset of respect for each other. It is not always necessary to understand the other person entirely in a sustainable friendship. This is one of the points that distinguishes itself from a relationship. Is it necessary to completely understand each other in a friendship? No, it isn’t. How do people understand each other better? By sharing everything with each other.
In a relationship, one shares the smallest of small things to largest worries with the person sometimes to solve problems or sometimes to identify the mindset of that person to know how it thinks to help him understand the other person in a better way. In contrast, in a sustainable friendship, one doesn’t have to do all this. So the level of understanding won’t be matching our expectation levels. But that doesn’t mean that you must abandon understanding your friend. This also doesn’t mean that you shouldn't share with your friend that you always do.
Every sustainable friendship has its fair share of fights, arguments, teasing, banters, fun, sometimes even hurting each other unintentionally but what remains unshaken is the three foundation pillars which kept the chariot moving. As a result, it never comes to a standstill because of the rock solid foundation of trust, love & respect.
Wishing that all the readers have many such blossoming sustainable friendships in their lives.