Meet in the middle and learn to grow

By: Annie Sragner, Arts & Life Editor

I recently met two best friends who inspired me with their fascinating friendship dynamic. Although both individuals differ in many ways, their contrasting identities merge into a balanced equilibrium when they are together. 

One of them is spontaneous, adventurous and always ready to dive head-first into a new experience with a “why not?” attitude. He seldom hesitates or worries about consequences because he has his eyes fixed on the momentum of opportunity.

They refer to him as the “growth” of their friendship because he paves the way for exploration in new discoveries that offer the chance for them to branch out.

Conversely, the other friend is more thoughtful and cautious with his actions. He considers all outcomes of a situation and thinks realistically about planning the journey. He is the “reason” of their friendship because he can think clearly through decisions.

The relationship between these two friends parallels the dichotomy between the thirst for adventure and logical reasoning. When “growth” and “reason” come together, they inspire each other in ways that benefit both of them. And through balance, “growth” and “reason” develop a healthy foundation of support and encouragement for each other.

When “growth” is guided by “reason,” logic is prioritized over impulse, and “reason” helps “growth” slow down and think through a situation until they reach a solution.

When “reason” takes the lead with influence from “growth,” fear begins to fade and “reason” is able to stay in the present moment to appreciate each new opportunity that comes along the way. 

A key factor of this dynamic is the value of difference. People usually gravitate toward others who have similar lifestyles and personalities as them. These similarities offer comfortable, common ground for a friendship to start.

Although similarities help with the formation of friendships, it is difference that turns friendship into a deeper learning experience.

When “growth” learns from “reason” and vice versa, each person can become more understanding and well-rounded as a result of this process. Instead of clinging onto individual identity, they meet in the middle and contribute to a collaborative perspective. If each individual contributed the same qualities to society, there would be nothing to learn from one another.

Once we can learn from the differences in the people we encounter, we can then begin to assess the balance of our own lives. Take notice of the traits you appreciate in those around you and consider how this influence adds to your identity.

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