So, how “sticky” are your friends?  Just yesterday I had the opportunity to make a stop in a town where I used to live and visit with some friends I haven’t seen in well over fifteen years.  Besides the fact that each of us has matured from a physical appearance (some more “gray-cefully” than others) it was as if the conversation picked up right where we left off.  While certainly the continuum of time has traveled significantly over the course of the years since our being away from each other the familiarity and comfortableness of each other’s presence remained intact.  As I was alone with my thoughts in my travels home I found myself thinking on and trying to put my finger on why this was the case.  What is it that is unique about these friendships that enable them to stand the test of time?  Or to put it into modern marketing vernacular, what was is that makes these friendships “sticky?”

The term “sticky” historically was universally reserved for the valued characteristic of adhesives.  Hmmm…does this angle provide an answer?  Or what about this thought?  Today there is much made about the notion of “sticky content” in the world of website development.  The purpose of such content is to hold the user’s attention and get them to spend longer periods of time at a given website.  Ultimately this strategy is employed to build an ever increasing community of users who return frequently to the site.  Just think about a few of the parallels.  What are the characteristics that cause friends to adhere one to another?  What are the characteristics that would cause us to want to spend time, even more frequent and longer periods of time with one another?  What about our innate desire to build authentic and meaningful community within the context of our friendships?

So, what is the “glue” that makes friendships stick and endure over the long haul?  Well, as I reflect on yesterday’s encounters I come away with a few key descriptors…a heart-felt love for the person(s), a longing to see them know the joy of their limitless worth as individuals, an immense gladness for their being a part of my life’s story and the simple but noteworthy satisfaction of hearing the familiar and healing sound of their laughter.  You know it’s been said that “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Do you have such a friend?  My heart’s desire is that you do.  By the way, as I think further about it I’m reminded that the adhesion of authentic friendship is more akin to double-sided tape.  So, I guess the question then is…how’s your “stickiness?” Are you such a friend to others?  Peace.