Friends are such an important part of life. They're a shoulder to cry on, a companion to share adventures with and a source to confide in. The friends we make when we're young are a huge part in molding who we are in adulthood. They influence who we are and directly affect who we will become.

Childhood friends aid in teaching important social and motor skills. How many times do you see little kids fighting over who gets to play with the ball? Or maybe you've seen a toddler grasp the concept of sharing and give the ball to his friend. These childhood experiences and friendships are just the beginning. 

Friends come and go in different seasons of our lives. We learn what makes a true friend and how to be one. We also learn how friends can hurt each other and how sometimes we need to cut ties with friends who don't help us be better individually. It's easy to be friends with those who have the same priorities as us. Actually, friends help DEFINE our priorities. It's hard to have a friendship with someone who doesn't want to be friends in return. It's a 2-way street.

Friends shape who we are in adulthood, just like our decisions NOW affect what happens later in life. When we surround ourselves with friends who are like-minded, we're bound to be happier, making our friends happier and ulitmately maintaining more, meaningful friendships. However, if we surround ourselves with friends who are the opposite, we become miserable, causing our friendships to dwindle and frankly, that's just no fun at all.

There are no hard rules as to what or who can be a friend. They come in all shapes and sizes! One could have a wide range of friends from children to adults or even pets. When you were growing up, did you have an imaginary friend? Like I said, a friend is a friend no matter what form they take and they're important to our growth and well-being.

What kind of friend are you? To have friends we need to be a good one ourselves. Take a moment to think about the people in your life and how you treat them. Have you been a listening ear? Have you been a positive influence and shown love and kindness? When you take the time to be a good friend to those around you, you may just be surprised at what is reciprocated and how long-lasting these relationships can be!