Patrick Henry famously declared, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
It was a bold statement, and dangerous for Henry when he said it, but he felt that fighting against the crown was a cause worth dying for.
The Talmud, however, has a different parallelism about death:
“Give me friendship, or give me death!”
Friendship isn’t often counted as a core American societal value like liberty, freedom, or equality.
But friendships are at the core of our lives.
Usually, we let friendships develop naturally. Mindfully cultivating existing friendships, or planting the seeds of a new friendship that someone might need, is much more difficult. But as new suitemates move in, new classes are formed, and everyone joins new clubs and societies, this is the time to actively consider how we can make our existing friendships better, and develop new friendships to bring happiness, and even renewed life, to the world.