Over the past few days I have had some terrific conversation with friends. One is a friend of nearly 30 years and one is a friend of less than one year. Having a relationship without judgment, without criteria that must be must, and without pretence is a treasure.
In academia, I live in a world with judgment, criteria, and pretence. I am not dissing academia, as I believe these qualities are necessary (except the pretence) in order to produce the best research. What I am saying is that in a world where the bar is so high for production and precision, having relational place where what matters is the person is of great value.
I am sure this is true in most life siutations. Most work places are not structured to develop friendships with long stretches of tiem for talking and laughing. Much of life in America is not friend friendly.
If you have friends and you have time for those friendships to develop, you have something very special.