JOHN VIANNEY AHUMUZA
If there is any opportunity any higher institution of learning can ever provide to humanity is a platform for friendship networking. Students and staff members from all walks of life form a wider cohort for establishing quality friendships. These gallant men and women of honour are drawn from different nationalities and continents carrying along with rich virtues for professional conduct. What is amazing though is the way we tend to effectively network and tap these virtues to better our lives.
Take for instance a student who joins a four-year course of about 100 students. Assume this student was to tap one outstanding virtue from each coursemate, they would graduate when they are 100 times more virtuous than how they were four years ago! But we tend to misallocate our wisdom to trivial things that do not necessarily matter most. Take, for instance, trade opportunities that form a big part of human activities.
Almost every individual can ably map the trading comparative advantages in their birthplace. Networking would, therefore, enable individuals to share this knowledge to enable their peers to venture into lucrative business ventures. But then one wonders why in the hierarchy of relationships, friendships are at the bottom level? Well, some people urge on the principle of quantity versus quality of friendships. Of course quality will always win over quantity from the perspective of living a high-quality life. This may explain why on social media forums like Facebook that always provide a sea of friend requests, one is careful to accept and decline some requests based on this principle.
Can we then always try to connect friendship with being an investment? Let’s look at what an investment requires. Basically any investment will require one to employ time, money and energy, and so are relationships. Friendship can also be viewed as an immense source of growth assuming that one develops a high-quality friendship. If properly handled, a friendship may improve say one’s communication skills, the ability to become intimate and the ability to check one’s ego. This means that being close-minded and judgmental limits the scope of opportunities that may be available for one’s success in life.
To be able to know someone enough and to trust them enough to even allow them to support you through tough times is a sign of real friendships. Let’s continue to love and support one another for the common good of humanity. Relationships are a golden platform for peaceful co-existence. Let’s learn that in everyone’s weaknesses lay a skin of virtue. Let’s learn to trust people. As Elbert Hubbard put it, a friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.
The author is a Foundation Studies lecturer at UCU