"The Enduring Power of Friendship," an article published in American Health in 1996 reflects on the value of friendship. (L.A. Times High School Insider)
Los Altos High School

Opinion: ‘The Enduring Power of Friendship’ emphasizes the importance of platonic love

“The Enduring Power of Friendship,” a 1996 American Health article written by Susan Davis, a writer in San Francisco, first introduced a story about Davis and her childhood friend, Kelly.

The two girls knew each other for 12 years and went through so much together — traveling, sharing their dreams and a home. Despite Davis moving to California, they both have stayed in touch through visits, letters, and phone calls.

Showing how close they were together, it seemed they would be best friends forever. However, when Davis met the love of her life and started a career, Kelly shut Davis out of her life.

“We like to think that friendships are warm, casual, fairly simple affairs. In reality, they’re more complicated,” Davis said after her experience.

Later in the article, Davis goes further into clarifying what friendship is. She accepts that friendships should be spoken about more often.

She cites Dr. Diane Prusank, an expert on interpersonal communications at the University of Hartford.

“Our culture is obsessed with romance,” Prusank said, according to Davis. “Friendship is secondary; no one thinks it has to be talked about.”

She emphasizes that the concept of friendship is rarely touched upon as more people have more interest in romance. Davis feels friendship should be treated equally as important as it is the fundamental stepping stone of interaction with people.

“Friendships provide varying degrees of indispensable support, from the agreeable neighbor who leads you his hedge clipper to the former college roommate you can call at any hour of the night for advice or commiseration,” reads one chapter of Davis’ book. “But since friendships are voluntary, unbound by obligations of law or kinship, they’re especially susceptible to life’s up and downs.”

Davis stresses how romantic relationships and friendships differ. Friendships can always forgive and make up along with being supportive. Friendship is undeniable in its ability to provide support, especially during rough times — unlike many romantic relationships. Despite what Davis has gone through with her childhood friend, she still misses her and hopes to see her again.

Friendship is the state of being friends and sharing mutual trust and support. Companionship like any relationship is a roller coaster, all of which requires patience, time, trust, and consideration.

However, sometimes friendship may not last forever as time goes by. Friends have different opinions and outputs in life such as different lifestyles, political opinions, careers and family.

Friendships are harder than they look as they are time-consuming and there is trust involved. Losing friends is not a bad thing as you can make time for other important tasks and make new friends.

This article is quite relatable as having a friend for a long time may end up hurting you in the future. It is a painful and difficult process, but it opens more doors such as spending more time with family, yourself, career, etc.

Friendship does not mean there must be phone calls every day and hanging out every day. Friends should be trusted companions you can go to in times of need. They should be supportive and caring as well as trustworthy.

Friends may stain our heart for a while but growing from past experiences only make you stronger and meet better companions in the future. As this topic of friendship is more than black and white, more research should be conducted to better understand this powerful connection.