I just received my latest copy of the newsletter "Outside The Lines" by Michael Bungay Stanier, renowned coach and author of various self empowerment guidelines and books. In the latest issue he discusses the value of a buddy, and provides six ways a buddy can help you out. In this article I would like to propose my own reasons why a buddy is not only desirable, but absolutely essential to everything that we do.
1. To see
We are all aware that people in general are notoriously bad at relaying events that have occurred. People see what they want to see, and no matter how hard we try to be observant we often overlook the obvious and seem to be blind to anything that do not fit our perspective.
In one of the most famous experiments that illustrate this fact, a group of subjects is asked to count the number of times a ball comes into the possession of players that are clearly distinguishable by their uniform. During the exercise, a man in a gorilla suit moves between the ball players in clear sight of everyone counting, but due to their focus on counting, most of the subjects are totally unaware of the gorilla. This "blind spot" is due to the way our brains work, and it is therefore very difficult, if not impossible, to avoid.
To have someone that looks at the world through different eyes is therefore highly desirable, if not indispensable. Buddies help us to see.
2. To share
While it is true that we learn from our experiences, it is also true that we can only find the wisdom that is hidden within those experiences by sharing them with others. By sharing our own view of reality we open ourselves to new possibilities, and by listening to the views of others we begin to explore the realm of the unknown that leads to those precious moments of "Aha!".
It is through this process of sharing that our knowledge transforms into a deeper understanding of the experiences we have, and it is this understanding that opens our minds to wisdom and growth.
Buddies are uniquely qualified in this regard, providing us with the opportunity to discover new meaning through a different perspective.
3. To feel
It is a condition of life that we feel, and as much as we sometimes feel bad, we often hide such feelings behind a facade of resilience and strength. Although most of us will probably come up with a very good reason for hiding our feelings, we need to understand that such repressed emotion does nothing for our health and well-being.
Repressed emotion is a well-known cause of stress and frustration, and in order for us to release these feelings that may become obstacles to our personal development and success, we need an environment where we can be honest to ourselves.
Buddies provide us with a safe relationship where we can let go of these negative feelings without the need for understanding, or the risk of blame.
4. To enhance
Research has shown that a group of people working together towards a common goal will always achieve more than the sum of the potential of all the individuals in the group, up to a group size of seven. The reason why this is true is not clear, but studies have demonstrated that groups larger than seven lose this enhanced achievement potential.
Be it by divine blessing, natural force or the simple principle of harmony, we will always exceed expectation when we join hands to work together for the common good of all.
Buddies therefore not only help, they make us more than we are on our own.
5. To give reason
The treason of reason is a common theme in literature, and most of us can probably remember a movie where power corrupts a character to such a degree that they are left empty and alone. Such is our nature that even with the most primitive of instincts, that of survival is nothing if it cannot be shared. Just as empty as lonely success.
Buddies give us a reason to be.
6. To love
Our journey through life begin as a personal affair towards self-acceptance, forgiveness and love. It is only when we have learned to love ourselves that we begin to understand the nature of the spirit and the powerful bond that exist in the unity of love.
And when we open our heart to beat as one with another, we are ready to discover that without love there is no reason at all, and buddies are more than enough reason to love all the rest.
If you would still like to read the article by Michael Stanier you are welcome to follow this link. In fact, I would love it if you could and let me know how you think they compare. Perhaps you could share your own point of view on the value of buddies, and people who care.