After reading Clayton Christensen’s “How Will You Measure Your Life?”, I’ve been thinking about the topic of friendship quite frequently, especially since it’s been three years since I’ve graduated from high school.
In the book, Christensen describes family and friends as the key source of happiness in a person’s life, and he goes on to explain that as many people grow older, they tend to segment their friends. For instance, people have a certain group of friends in middle and high school, and when they gain new friends in college, they tend to move on from their previous group of friends.
I wish this wasn’t the case. I’ve realized that this has happened in my life as well, and I’m kinda bummed about it. There’s about a handful of friends from high school I still speak with frequently and that we’ve remained close.
Reid Hoffman explained it perfectly in “The Startup of You”.
“How Many Allies and Weak Connections Can You Have?”
Imagine you receive a digital camera with a built-in memory card for your birthday. You bring it on a six-month trip to Africa where you won’t have access to a computer—so all the photos you want to keep must fit on that one memory card. When you first arrive you snap photos freely, and maybe even record some short videos. But after a month or so, the memory card starts filling up. Now you’re forced to be more judicious in deciding how to use that storage. You might take fewer pictures. You might decide to reduce the quality/resolution of the photos you do take in order to fit more. You’ll probably cut back on videos. Still, inevitably, you’ll hit capacity, at which point if you wish to take new photos you’ll have to delete old ones. Just as a digital camera cannot store an infinite number of photos and videos, you cannot maintain an infinite number of relationships. Which is why, even if you are judicious about your choices, at some point you hit a limit, and any new relationship means sacrificing an old one.”
Excerpt From: Reid Hoffman. “The Start-Up of You.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=65A0459F5D1B8E3558EF4883BEA7F1F5
Perhaps sacrifice is necessary in order to maintain the new relationships that we form. I just wonder if someday certain old relationships can be rebuilt on a new foundation.