Flowcharts of Friendship
So the other day, writing my computer science exam, I was asked to create a flow chart showing how to make friends. My answer went somewhat like this:
This got me thinking about how we pick our friends. It peculiar how it happens, it’s sort of an unconscious decision (at least with me, I certainly am not like Sheldon Cooper, sticking to his “friendship algorithm”). I mean at first you strike up a conversation with a seemingly random person and sometimes, if you’re lucky, something clicks. Streaks of similarity or maybe it’s the pull of opposites, but whatever it is, somewhere along they line, this seemingly random person is no longer random, they aren’t even just an acquaintance anymore, they’ve become more than that, more important. They seem to somehow drift into the category of “friends”. They become a person you rely on, depend on. They are also that person who is able to accept you as who you are.
Stu, a character in Stephen King’s novel The Stand, says, when thinking of his dead friends, “In his memory there was a great tendency to downplay or completely forget their unlovable characteristics. […] The thoughts that came wanted to be wholly good.” (King 425). I think there’s some truth to that, but I think in some ways is missing out. We all wish to see good in our friends, but I think really your friends are those people who have learned not to overlook the worst in you but rather to accept those streaks of crazy and random for who you are. I think it’s that; the sum of all the good and bad and weird in you that really make up who you are, that makes you, you.