Ultimately, I think what matters the most at the end of the day, is the relationships you form with people.
Wherever you are, wherever you go, make friends. Out of all the things you have to expend your energy on as you go about your daily grind, invest your time and effort in your relationships, with friends, acquaintances.
Talk to them, have a conversation with them. Take a genuine interest in their lives, get to know their passions, their hobbies, what they dislike, their aspirations, their dreams. Never, back out of any opportunity to catch up with them or simply just exchange a word or two.
Write to them, little notes of encouragement, cards on their birthdays, Christmas, to wish them a speedy recovery. Be creative, draw on your cards, doodle on your notes. Express whatever is unique about each person to you on your handwritten gifts to them. And if they write back to you, keep every note and card from them.
Take photographs, lots and lots of photographs. In a snapshot, that very moment you shared with your friends and acquaintances will be immortalized forever, digitally or on film. Try your best to get a physical copy of the photos you’ve taken with friends and acquaintances and keep every one of them.
As time passes, we will gradually lose contact with our friends and acquaintances. Relationships become harder to maintain as we grow older because Life unrelentingly sucks each of us into itself. Life demands our collective individual participation, thus hindering our abilities to invest time and effort into the people we’ve forged bonds and formed memories with over time.
But, should the rare occasion arise, when technology or the Internet spell “boredom” to you, pull out that shoebox or giant envelope of notes, cards and photographs. Look through them, scrutinize every word no matter how faded or untidy they are, every detail in each picture.
Recollection, is a very pleasant feeling. Each note, card and photograph you have received or taken and preserved over time is a testament of every relationship you have/had. It is the investment of a friend/acquaintance’s time and effort because you’re worth it, because they value you and your relationship together. And this is what transcends time, above all the possessions and personal achievements we can possibly accumulate.