Intentional Friendships

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

In the intricate dance of our marriage, Sheila and I navigate on distinct time clocks. My early-to-bed, early-to-rise rhythm contrasts with her penchant for staying up late and indulging in a bit more morning slumber. This arrangement has served us well over the years, affording me precious moments to decompress at night and reflect on the day ahead in the morning.

Recently, Sheila observed that some mornings pass without our customary exchange of “good morning.” As I’m already immersed in my day, I assume she’s on a similar trajectory, albeit slightly delayed.

She suggested that we greet each other a bit more intentionally in the morning and at night. According to her, this and other simple gestures are akin to what friends do for each other.

She is absolutely right.

This revelation emerged from our discussions about “loving-kindness,” a concept rooted in Buddhist practice that emphasizes seeing the good in oneself and others. Compassion, sharing joy, equanimity, and finding balance in adversity intertwine this philosophy.

While ideals like kindness, joy, compassion, and balance may seem challenging, intentionally practicing them can make their acquisition more attainable. It’s about me being mindful of how I want to be in the world. Sometimes, a reminder note on my computer prompts me; other times, I see someone make a kind gesture (like allowing me to enter a lane on the highway), and it reminds me to do the same.

As I encountered Sheila this morning, I greeted her with an exuberant “good morning” and a warm hug. Our smiles conveyed that it was an excellent way to start the day. “Let’s be more intentional about strengthening our friendship,” she suggested, leading to another heartfelt hug.

Be it in the workplace or our kitchens, being conscious of how we can deepen connections with those we work and live with adds a meaningful layer to existence.

In my ongoing journey, I’ll continue cultivating intentional friendships, recognizing that it’s a continuous effort worth investing in. I’d love to have more people on board, so drop me a line or give me a call…and I’ll do the same.

© Richard Citrin 2024

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