Robert over at Middle Zone Musing launched another of his famous WILF's (What I learned From) yesterday: What I learned from My Friends.
Been thinking about that since I read the 'topic' for this month and listed a whole list of things I learned from them. Then I had a good look at the long list of friends: friends from days gone past, friends who 'stayed-behind' when we moved 8 years ago (is it still called emigrating when you move from one European country to another these days?), friends who live close-by, friends who live further afield, friends I never really met in 'real-life', friends who started out as business contacts.
And I noticed something 'peculiar': when we were young our friends were almost always of our own age - school-friends, neighbour kids, holiday 'contacts'. The older we get, the more 'random' the age is - it becomes an unimportant 'trait' of a friendship. Of course I still have friends who are as 'young' as I am - or at least I think we are of the same age, I'm terrible at guessing and rather not 'put my foot in' - but overall it is a mix of younger and older persons.
Before it mattered, now - by 'coming of age' - it doesn't seem to matter any which way you look at it. Friends become friends for different reasons now, not because you were both going through the same 'growing pains' and could only relate/find comfort in those who felt/wondered the same. Younger or older persons didn't know it as well as we did (for us growing up was brand new and thought no one else had thought these thoughts, felt those feeling before - only our friends). Now we know better ;-)
Friends now bring their own unique experiences with them, share their insights and wisdom with us - as we do with them. We relate differently now, are able to see beyond just our own feelings and thoughts.
Friends bring a richer life to us. Age is irrelevant; sharing, listening, learning, 'teaching' is.