Fruitful Friendships

Everybody deserves at least one fruitful friendship.

No, I don’t mean the kind of friend that brings you apple crisp or the neighbor who shares his strawberry crop. Although those friendships are well-appreciated and special, I’m talking about fruitful in a different sense. I’m talking about the kind of friend who makes you better, where the fruits of their friendship are obvious in your life. A fruitful friend makes something happen in you.

In college, they’re the one who pushed you to study and who reminded you that what you’re learning really will be relevant someday. In a parents’ group, they’re the ones who teach vou to better time management. At work, it’s the colleague who mentors you and who helps you become better at your job. At church, he’s the one who keeps you accountable for your moral actions.

Fruitful friends yield a variety of outcomes in our lives, but no matter the context of the friendship, fruitful friends help us figure out what’s important, often without knowing it. Fruitful friends are the kind who push you to be kinder or to learn more.

They make you want to be more understanding or to think in a different way. They just make you want to be better. These are the friends who are a reflection of who you are and of who you want to be.

I’m not saying that every friendship you have should fit this mold of fruitility.

Trying to find fruitfulness in every conversation you have can be both draining and unnecessary. But I do believe that everybody needs at least one fruitful friendship.

Whether it be a colleague, a spouse or a coffee-break friend, they’re important.

Without these friendships, there is no benchmark, no goal and no accountability. They help you decide who you want to be, where you want to be going and what you want to change.

I guess I can admit that a few people in this world must be internally capable of performing these activities within themselves, absent from any friendships or outside help. But I believe that these important friendships are like the lines on the road, most of us need them to drive straight.

A few of us can navigate just fine without them, but driving is more strenuous and life is more difficult.

The lines help us keep on track, they help us reach our destination and they make driving much easier.

Fruitful friendships are very similar. They keep us going straight, they help us see our goal, and they help navigate the way there. But most importantly, they’re fun. They make life worthwhile and they make us better people.

“My friends have made the story of my life. In a thousand ways they have turned my limitations into beautiful privileges, and enable me to walk serene and happy in the shadow cast by my deprivation.”

– Helen Keller