What is the Meaning of Friendship?

Lin's Bin on Friends

July 22, 2020
Marty Lin and Terri

What is the true meaning of friendship?

What is so hard about making friends?  You go to the park. You find a stick. You use the stick to start digging a hole in the dirt. Soon you will be joined by someone who admires a good hole in the dirt.  They might even have ideas that could transform your hole in the dirt into something even better.  Add water. Now you have a muddy hole and a friend for life.  Or at least until you go to different kindergartens.

Friendships grow out of shared experience.  Home room. Lunch. Swim Team. The greater the ordeal, the closer the friendship. 

We make friends with the guys who will hang out in a basement and play versions of “Light My Fire” that never end.

We can make friends with classmates who share that status of outsiders.

How many of these early friendships survive the journeys we make?

The escape to college.

The job in another city.

The marriage on the other side of the country.

Not many.

When it comes to friendship even the most powerful men can sound a little needy.

We are creatures who follow the path of least resistance.  We seek friendship in the workplace or on the street we live.

Adult friendships are confined by the rigors of our schedule. Our intention to get together with friends can be de-railed by this simple equation: we’ve run out of time.

What does social media offer us in the way of friendship?

We reacquaint ourselves with boys and girls we once knew and then drift away again.


A birthday card becomes a birthday email which becomes a birthday greeting on Facebook.  A salient moment in our life is celebrated with a status update and a thumbs up icon offered on your friend page. 

Yes. It’s hard to make friends when we’re all grown up.  We are naturally suspicious of friendly people. Are they selling us something?

A few too many friendly questions from a stranger on the train and we’re ready to call the police.

In the adult world, friendliness is confused with schmoozing. 

Your best friends are the ones that require the least work.  They understand how much is out of our control. They save the drama for a night in the theater.  There is no schedule or timetable for friendship.  It can’t be accelerated by need or convenience. Whether you saw a friend yesterday or a month ago, your next encounter will still make sense.