It is difficult to connect with others in our noisy society. It can be so hard to pierce through the cacophony that we sometimes end up relying on media images, or the images constructed by others to help us with our decisions. The problem is that these sorts of guides are not real – they do not spring from the heart, they are not the result of a stirring deep within us: the stirring that comes of realising that an other has understood us, feels our complexity and navigates it intuitively. That stirring is borne of a profound feeling of acceptance that comes with spending time with someone who perceives you as an equal, a friend. There is no pretense in such a friendship and, as such, very few compromises. There is no desire for ownership of the other, no desire for control – there is only a joyful sharing of experiences, an anticipation for the next meeting, a smile when the indicator light on your BlackBerry flashes its rhythmic red and you see your friend’s name in bold on your messenger list. You gain comfort from knowing the other person exists, you feel safe when they speak to you, you are happy to hear of even the smallest things they are doing on Twitter, Facebook or through a friend’s gossipy recounting. When you have found such a person, keep in touch. You don’t have to hold them tight, because they are there for you regardless, they are your friends and aren’t going anywhere. You can be free and easy, your laughter can ring out like water springing from a fountain, its drops flying through the air and falling where they will and sparkling like diamonds in the sun as they arc through the air. You can feel excited and enthusiastic, talk incessantly as you walk and drive, regale your friends with the aftermath of your conversations. When you feel these things, know that you have not only found someone who loves you, but that you have also found a kindred spirit. There is nothing more rare or more precious in the world.