Last month, I was driving home with my daughter from a concert and came to a curve in the road. I’ll admit, I took the corner a bit too fast. One of those times where you’re just sure that your car is about to slide off the road or roll over into the ditch. But you just have to grip the wheel tight, pray that the tires keep a good hold on the asphalt, and make the turn. Once back on the straightaway, I remember thinking to myself, “Thank goodness for friction.” Because of course it was friction that kept my tires from sliding off the road. 

Then I realized what a silly thought that truly was. Friction isn’t what kept my tires on the road just in that curve… it’s what keeps our tires on the road all the time. It’s what keeps our shoes on the sidewalk. It’s what keeps houses and buildings standing up. It’s what keeps trees upright. Friction, in some part, allows for 3-dimensional life. It gives our world interest and dynamism.

Without friction, would not everything simply slide down Occam’s razor to the lowest point allowed by gravity? We would have a hard time walking, driving, building, growing, creating.

I realized that we not only need friction to stay on the road, we also need a level of friction in our lives simply to maintain life. Friction is important and necessary in life, literally and figuratively. 

In my personal and professional relationships, I inevitably end up dealing with friction, some sort of disagreement or pride or disrespect, that frustrates me. But this unrest and hardship is what helps us understand our shortcomings, improve our communication gaps, learn how to live and work with others, become more understanding of alternate opinions, sympathize with other’s lives.

Don’t shy away from friction in your life. It’s inevitable. Use it to get a grip.