The purpose of friends is to help you follow your heart.
I was hanging out with my friend Ariel, a farmer, a few weeks ago, when she said to me:
Ariel: It sounds like you are having trouble following your heart.
Hell yes, I thought. I wished I could knock these ideas out of me: you need to make tons of money, be prestigious, etc. Hit them really hard and see them on the floor.
Ariel: My mom said, how will you make money as a farmer? I said, I don’t know, but I am surrounded by a community of people with similar values, and that’s important to me.
Me: How did you get into farming?
Ariel: In college I met a bunch of anarchist friends, and some of them were into farming.
Me: What if you didn’t meet those people? What if you went to a college without people like that?
Ariel: I’d be a very different person.
“Follow your dreams” is the goal, but usually I have no idea about how to:
- Figure out what those dreams are
- Figure out ways of following them, especially where there is no blueprint in place.
Sure, there have probably been a few courageous people like Einstein who set out to sea simply following their dreams, but I think most people had a network of friends or colleagues that made their crazy ideas accepted and gave them blueprints of how to do things.
Ariel: You should volunteer at an urban farm one day a week, just to get your hands in the dirt.
Maybe I will. And maybe I will start thinking of my friends not merely as people to go out to dinner with, but as people who will help me do the things that I want to do.