There is an old nursery rhyme or song that's come to mind lately.
It's rather short, kinda like Row Your Boat.
Make new friends
but keep the old.
One is silver
and the other's gold.
There are many quotes and sayings
advocating the importance of friends.
And I would venture to say,
not one of them is an exaggeration.
We need friends no matter who we are or what our character.
I view myself as an introvert,
but I've been told by several employers in particular
how easily I speak with clients.
The thing is, I don't have problems talking.
(Just ask any of my grade school teachers:-)
It's the getting to know me bit that's a challenge
so my friends are real treasures to me.
There are those rare occurrences when you will meet someone,
and it's like you've known them all your life.
Those are the easiest and often the closest friendships.
There are also the friends that develop over time.
Those are nice in that there are typically few expectations
about what's ahead.
They can become valuable in that each person knows
the habits and norms of the other person so they know well
just how to help or get along with the other person.
There are some "firey" friendships.
I'm not so sure those are real friendships.
there is a new kind of friendship.
Those found here online.
In a way, it's not really a new kind.
In years past, there were pen-pals that created friendships.
These friendships are a different kind of valuable
because there is no keeping up appearances.
There is no:
"I don't like going to the store with Jane because she wears too much perfume."
"She just walks so slow."
"I'm allergic to her cat."
Those things don't matter one iota if you aren't there with him/her.
(By the way, I actually like the name Jane and cats among other critters.
Too much perfume and slowly meandering through a grocery store
might get to me a little though.)
So what of these friends of different sorts?
What actually makes them important?
Well, you see~
humans are a herding animal.
I know there are some out there who don't take fondly to being called an animal
and others who take it as a compliment.
But we are creatures on this earth, and we were created with instincts.
Hubby and I were talking a while back, and he made the comment
that he wasn't sure why but religious communities have lower crime rates.
The uncertainty was because people who are religious
are just as likely to commit crimes from a statistics standpoint.
I said two words:
He looked at me kinda sideways.
Acceptance is what every person seeks deep down
be it gang members or church members.
You follow the rules of what is acceptable in order to be accepted,
and you don't hurt your own.
If you break those rules, you are kicked out of the heard, gang, church,
That's where those friends come into play.
Our friends accept us.
They still love us even if we snort when we laugh,
even if we spill down the front of our shirt every time,
even if we aren't super stars,
even if . . . well, you get it.
Our friends accept us for who we are.
There has been quite a bit of discord in 2020.
Communities have been shattered.
Families have been separated.
Friendships have been strained.
These things are more important now than ever.
I guess the point of this post is just don't forget.
I know different areas have different mandates in effect,
but there are still things you can do.
Leave a bag of tomatoes hanging on the door knob of a neighbor
then call and let them know it's there.
(If you don't have any to spare, just let me know. I have tons!)
Send a quick note or card to a friend or family member.
By all means hug your kids and grand-kids!
The risk of them feeling abandoned, unloved, or neglected
far outweighs that of a virus.
I worry about the unintended consequences
of some of the things that are happening around us.
There are ways to make new friends also.
There is always someone who could use a friend.
Ask a pastor if there is an elder who can't get out much.
A phone call or dare I say even an old-fashioned letter
can go a long ways in brightening someones day.
Or, a couple other ideas:
a nursing home director - sorta adopt a grandparent
a childcare provider or family member with munchkins
(kids love a phone call to them rather than to Dad or Mom)
Obviously, that one would need parental approval.
Teens! They need reassurance as much as any 2 year old.
The last thing they need is to hibernate in their room for a year.
There might be someone who has a family member in hospice.
They are typically exhausted and could use a nicety.
I really think most of you are pretty kind and creative.
If you have more ideas,
please share in the comments.
So all of this to say,
remember to remember 💝
By the way, I'm one of those folks who loves to do those little
random act of kindness.
They often cost very little, but can be very meaningful.
Okay, I'll stop (see told ya I could talk.)
I just want to encourage folks to be friendly.
Have a beautiful day.