I don’t know about you, but I believe there is something extraordinary about friends from childhood. It does not matter if you don’t speak every day, it does not matter if you don’t meet regularly. Whenever you do, the relationship picks up as though you never stopped interacting. The friends that you make as children came without an angularity which in today’s materialistic world, usually means you did not make a friend with a purpose or objective in mind.
I hope you made some good friends growing up. I say this because research is increasingly finding that having good friends for life, has an impact on your quality of life. People in their 70’s and 80’s, who have the physical and mental capacity of people who are several decades younger, are known as super agers. In research done on super agers, several factors were identified that kept them physically and mentally agile. Living an active life, being physically active, continually keeping your mind busy and challenged, embracing of mental challenges and having a purpose in life all played a role.
Equally important was the ability to build social networks and have long-term relationships with people they could count as friends. Every member of the cohort studied reported having satisfying, warm, trusting relationships. Positive relationships had an impact on the level of cognitive decline, impairment, and dementia. Many reported biking up to 20-30 miles with a dozen or more friends followed by lunch. Generosity, kindness and the desire to give and share formed an integral part of their psyche.
Making and keeping friends is never easy. People grow apart with time. People move all over the world. Misunderstandings and misunderstandings commonly occur. Sometimes you see motives in people that don’t exist. Whatever your circumstance, if you know a good friend, hang on to them, they may be saving your life.