Sunday, October 04, 2009

If the road is uncertain...

Collage by Lani

If the road is uncertain and difficult, remember to bring art supplies and your friends! My friend Diane sent me a quote from the wonderful New York Times article April 21, 2009 on the importance of friendship. Although most of the article was about how friendship actually helps us live longer, more healthy lives, it was the very end of the article that caught my eye.

Last year, researchers studied 34 students at the University of Virginia, taking them to the base of a steep hill and fitting them with a weighted backpack. They were then asked to estimate the steepness of the hill. Some participants stood next to friends during the exercise, while others were alone.

The students who stood with friends gave lower estimates of the steepness of the hill. And the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.

“People with stronger friendship networks feel like there is someone they can turn to,” said Karen A. Roberto, director of the center for gerontology at Virginia Tech. “Friendship is an undervalued resource. The consistent message of these studies is that friends make your life better.”

This idea about friendship making the "steepness of the hill" easier to bear is a wonderful idea. And the best part about this is that being a good friend has nothing to do with our social status, our education, or our abilities. We can all be good friends to each other, and make those uncertain and difficult roads a little easier. So over at 14 Secrets we're playing with an idea of an art swap based on this research but mean while we're playing with these questions:
1. What would you share with friends to make their climb easier?
2. What would you like folks to know about things you enjoy that would make YOUR climb easier?
For some of our answers please check our blog. The difficult journey has miraculously turned into a colorful celebration of the traveling band of gypsy artists! What a wonderful group of friends!
Collage by Lani

1 comment:

Erika C. said...

I looked at the 14 Secrets blog and it love your ideas and enthusiasm! Is there a way of joining in on the art swap?