Sometimes you can’t see where you’re going. To quote the indie-rock band of the moment from a few years back, Death Cab For Cutie: “It’s hard to see the way out.”
Sometimes you need a second pair of eyes.
Those other eyes hopefully come set inside a human head, but if not, certain pets work well also. No matter the being, a friend along the way is one of those commodities that you simply don’t give up on. Just like soybeans, copper or cocoa.
I was watching the George Clooney film Up in the Air the other night and I think it demonstrates the value of companionship, friendship and even love pretty acutely.
Clooney’s character, Ryan Bingham, is a habitual loner, but not in the traditional sense. His lifestyle and virtually every life choice comes as a result of his occupation, an individual that conducts face-to-face terminations for other companies. He’s a gun for hire in the buttoned up white-collar world.
He spends around 270 days out of the year on the road, living in hotels, rental car joints and airports. He’s alone and he’s convinced everyone around him that he likes it that way. So set in his belief that it’s a sound lifestyle choice, he becomes a motivational speaker, encouraging others to empty their “backpack”–essentially telling them that a life with as few attachments to others and things is the way to go.
Faced with a situation in which he’s found himself–the perpetual loner–across from his future brother-in-law, he of the cold feet on the wedding day variety, he bends on his attitude a little, but only after having found a “friend” of his own. With a new set of eyes, he reminds the second-guessing groom about a simple fact of life that can’t be ignored when we discuss the value of friendship, associations and love.
“If you think about it, your favorite memories, the most important memories in your life… were you alone?”
Think about that question yourself. Vacations, road trips, random wondering nights some place, all of these events are usually accompanied by others.
Clooney’s character makes the point that when all the doubts in the groom’s head began to creep into his head, he was alone, apart from his wife-to-be, a woman he clearly cared about deeply. Just like that, Clooney made a point that allowed a wedding day to continue and one that refuted many of the claims he made in attempts to influence the lives of others.
“Life’s better with company,” Clooney says.
Sure, there are a variety of types of love. It’s about as assorted as a box of chocolates, but it doesn’t change the fact that every type of love can be pretty delicious. Sure, there are bitter moments, but if there’s a solid foundation, things will stay steady. And those kinds of friendships, that kind of love, is really what life is all about. It’s all better with company and even the loners out there need a second set of eyes through which to see the world.
CoyWire.com’s Content Manager, Daniel Cox, shares his thoughts a few times a week. Reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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