Friends!

At our Thrive! Dinner last night, I discovered that one of our young men is a fan of “Friends”.  Aired from 1994 to 2004, the show follows 3 men and 3 women through the struggles of early adulthood.  While done with humour, there was a realism to the challenges faced by the characters over the years as we watched every character go through job changes, relationship failures and heartbreak all while renting apartments in New York City and drinking coffee at Central Perk.

Life uncertainty

As Generation X was coming of age, Friends hit the air.  There are many themes which resonate with this generation.  I remember being a young adult talking with teenagers whose fears included being the first generation who was not better off than their parents.  Many of my friends didn’t get the jobs they hoped for upon leaving school.  Many changed jobs multiple times over their lives.  There were many reasons the characters from “Friends” changed jobs.  There are many today who understand and have lived with these kinds of changes.

I’ll be there for you

The theme song says it all “So no one told you life was gonna be this way.  You’re job’s a joke, you’re broke, you’re love life’s D.O.A.  It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear.  When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year, but I’ll be there for you…”

At the heart of this show was a story about relationships, friendships.  Despite the challenges of life, they always had each other.  They continually cared for and supported one another in a multitude of ways.  And they accepted one another’s quirks and eccentricities.

There is something poignant about this foundation.  There is wisdom in knowing that the best things in life are not material.  Relationships can bring meaning to our days regardless of what else we may confront.  In the face of breakups, divorce, job uncertainty, health struggles, life’s ups and downs, when we have people around us that we can depend upon we have a vital resource that allows us to persevere.  This is true for every generation.

Who are your friends?

There was once a post on Facebook which asked who, on your friend’s list, excluding family, have you known the longest.  For me, it is my university roommate and friend.  We haven’t lived in the same city for decades but remain connected through email, social media and texting.  We visit each other from time to time and can talk for hours about a multitude of topics.

Friends are a treasure, especially those enduring friendships which provide mutual support and care over the years.  Do you agree?  Who are your friends?  How do you nurture those friendships?  In what ways do parents help our children to make and keep friends?  What do you think is the most important lesson in regards to friendships?  We want to hear from you.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/