Cherish Your Real Friendships


This past weekend I watched 56 Up. If you’re not familiar with the Up series of documentaries, they are worth checking out.

To quasi-quote Wikipedia:

The Up Series is a series of documentary films…that have followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old. So far the documentary has had eight episodes spanning 49 years (one episode every seven years).

The children were selected to represent the range of socio-economic backgrounds in Britain at that time, with the explicit assumption that each child’s social class predetermines their future. 

The aim of the series is stated at the beginning of 7 Up as: “Why do we bring these children together? Because we want to get a glimpse of England in the year 2000. The shop steward and the executive of the year 2000 are now seven years old.”

So, now these children are 56 years of age. The premise of the first program has been invalidated. None of these people have lived the plan their parents conceived for them. Things happen, careers don’t turn out as planned, marriages don’t last as long as promised, really, nothing in life goes according to plan. Maybe, in the end, that’s going to be the enduring message of the films. Bleep happens.

But, I digress. Watching these very familiar faces, each aged by seven years since the last film, feels like seeing old friends again.

It feels that way but it’s not.

They’re not friends. I’ve never met any of them and most likely never will. We see what the director shows us and that’s all we really know about these people.Image

While I was happy to see my cinema-friends again, I felt a strong pang of loss for an actual friend. When 49 Up was in post-production, I made the marvelous discovery that one of my closest friends not only had heard of the series but was equally excited about the new film coming out.

We saw 49 Up together and, as we left the theatre, vowed to see 56 Up together as well.

Bleep happens. Things change.

We went from seeing each other daily at work, to seeing each other a couple of times a month, to having dinner every few months….you see where I’m going with this, right?

Eventually, it was six months between dinners, then a year…. Emails became less frequent, Facebook comments and “likes” became rare. At some point, we just stopped being friends. It all just faded away.

My point in relating all this is to remind myself and others to cherish your friendships. Value them, take care of them. They can be very transient things. Bleep happens. We change jobs, start and end relationships, focus on career or family or school.

Anything can change the patterns in your life and those changes ripple through every other part of your life.

So, as happy as I was to check in with my movie friends, it made me think about real friendships and how important they are and how fragile they can be.

Now, I’m wondering….how can I be better friend?

No Responses Yet to “Cherish Your Real Friendships”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: