“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together . . . there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart . . . I’ll always be with you.” Do you remember who said this? It’s someone who has taught millions of children and adults a great deal about friendship and life. Maybe these quotes will help. “If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you” or ”You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” These thoughts come out of the very special and sometimes unlikely friendship between a young boy, Christopher Robin, and his playmate, Winnie the Pooh.
Without a doubt some of the best insights and advice about friend making and keeping can be found in children’s literature. What do you think are the dynamics that move a relationship from being an acquaintance to a friendship? What is it that draws 2 people together so that the time which they spend with each other grows more important, enjoyable and valuable to each of them? Sometimes it is the many interests or abilities that people have that draw them together, but often it is that intangible attraction of different viewpoints, new experiences, or shared challenges. Friends help us to see ourselves from a broader perspective and enrich our lives in very special ways. As people grow and change, move and mature, so do the nature of friendships, too. Some deepen to a level of trust and affection that strengthens both parties and becomes a very important asset to each of them.
Solomon’s words of wisdom and truth in Proverbs offer very practical ideas about how to treat and to love others and give an expanded understanding of the meaning of friendship. It’s very compatible with the advice of Christopher Robin, too. “Just because an animal is large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo.”