Monday, March 26, 2012

The Value of Friendship

Friendship, true friendship, is really an interesting phenomenon. Philosophers for hundreds, even thousands of years have pondered both the simplicity and the complexity of friendship. Like love, friendship is equally essential and problematic. Very few of us, if any, can exist as an island, with no element of friendship in our lives.

All of us have friends, some more than others, but like most things that matter it is in the quality not the quantity that matters. So what draws friends together, purpose, usefulness, common interest, chemistry or something much more intangible? Friendships are often born out of interesting, if not even strange circumstances. Michele Scott and I became friends because of problems with another trainer and her daughter's pony that precipitated her moving her horses to my facility. Was that just a friendship of need and convenience? Now several years later, Michele and I are like sister's talking nearly every day and our friendship is now more like family.

I have discovered over the years that most horse people share a kinship, if not a full blown friendship, with hardly knowing each other. How many times have you struck up a conversation with a stranger at a feed store and within minutes you are conversing like old friends. Friendship of common interest? Yes, but is the instant bond more. I think that there is some undiscovered common gene thread connecting horse people in specific and to animal lovers in general. How many of you have numerous photos of any number of horses or other pets saved on your phone and will gleefully show them off to a total stranger in an airport, or supermarket, or doctor's waiting room, when you realize you both have animals. Friendship of common insanity? Perhaps.

I also count many 4 legged beings as friends, pretty much on the same plain, or even higher, than my human friends. Just this past weekend, I saw a horse that I trained many years ago at a horse show. He looked me straight in the eye, nickered and then begged for treats and a rub as if I had seen him yesterday.

How about you? How do you define friendship and how important of a role does it play in your life? I have been blessed with many close, long term friendships and I know that they are people who love me and have my back unconditionally. That, combined with a close family, makes me doubly blessed. Although I am often frustrated with my fellow humans and sometimes think that they are not the best example of humanity, I still value their existence and cherish the special ones, 2 legged and 4 legged, I have in my life. What do you think??


Laura Crum said...

I feel a lot like you, Terri. I value my animal friends as much as my human friends, and I'm grateful for the supportive "horse friends" I've had in my life, both in real life and on the internet. Nothing like a friend you can talk horses with (!)

Alison said...

I'm glad to see you are thinking about friendships and not the way some trainers/riders treat their horses. Your last post stayed on my mind for awhile!