In praise of good friends and nice people.


In discussion with a friend a few weeks ago, while going down the kind of conversational road that leads to exclamations of despair at the way things are going in the world, it hit me. ‘I know so many amazing people, though’, I said, suddenly struck by a realisation that was always somewhere in my mind, but had surfaced with renewed force. We both paused and thought about it, and agreed that it’s true.

I’m referring to the kind of people who make endless sacrifices for the things they care about, and expect nothing in return – the kind of people who sit up late at night figuring out how to make something work even though they’re at their wits’ end, because they know nobody else will do it and it’s too important to leave alone. There are also the people – and they’re usually the same people – who find or make time for those who aspire to be like them, and never make them feel they’re in the way.

I also know people who take the word ‘friend’ to its fullest and richest extent; who are so good and kind that I feel my throat tighten just writing about them. They are the people who sit and listen to you over-analyse everything, without ever getting bored. They are the people who silently hug you while you cry and make you believe that everything actually will be okay. They are the people you dance with until you fall over; laugh with until you can’t breathe; tease you mercilessly but defend you to the last, and make you feel at home wherever you are. They are the people who remind you that what you want to do is not a job or a career, but your whole life, and that you have their support.

In the last few months alone, I have had numerous occasions to shake my head in awe at the people I know. It invariably occurs to me at the strangest times, when mundane activities – with the right people – suddenly become the most wonderful thing I could possibly be doing. This post is shamelessly sentimental, but sometimes a bit of sentiment is no bad thing. It is easy to get sucked into misanthropy and the energy-sapping clichés about how bad humanity is, so I want to celebrate the good people I know, without whom my life would be entirely different.

So, thank you to the good friends and nice people that shape my life. Thank you for being brave enough to wear your hearts on your sleeves for the things and people that matter to you.  Thank you for standing by my side in the middle of a rainforest, or a rainy city street, and making life feel good in either place.  Thank you for letting me know, through kind words and thoughtful actions, that it’s okay to be myself and pursue my ambitions.  This is the least I can do to show you how much that means.