I don’t know about you, but the difference in relationships between “friends” and “colleagues” has always been a bit vexing to me. It’s always felt to me that the goal is for everyone to be a friend – that just feels more real and more valuable.

What defines a real relationship? Obviously, it includes mutual respect, caring for the welfare of the other and sharing trust – all three of these might be key to someone being a friend versus just a colleague. And, of course, there is the obvious difference about the blending of personal lives to supplement common business interests.

In the community work I love to do, it seems a little easier to have all three of these grow fast because of a shared goal that is greater than oneself, versus the more Machiavellian goals that may pervade in business dealings.

Two great books I’ve recently read each included a truly unique approach to defining relationships – I hope you like them as much as I did:

From Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson:

“…something inside them meant the same thing.”

From Beloved by Toni Morrison:

“She is a friend of my mind. She gathers me, Man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.”

Reflecting on these wonderful quotes, I love the idea that great relationships can reflect shared meaning and a mutual willingness to help the other be aligned and at peace.

I wish us all the growth and fulfillment we can realize from more “real” relationships in our lives.

Thanks for sharing time with me; as always, I welcome your feedback.  Please feel free to pass this message along to others who may find value.

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