Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Friendships Can Sing...or Hum
When I wrote the essay, "A Mockingbird Can Sing", I thought the main theme was prejudice and bigotry. But now I'm not so sure. Maybe the real theme to the essay is friendship. Friendship should be easy. It should not be based on the color of your skin or your religion or affluence. Friendship should come about because you are willing to take the time to get to know someone, and false barriers like skin color or someone else's opinion as to who is an appropriate friend, should not play into the construction of a friendship. Unfortunately we all often use external indicators as a road map to friendship. When I look at the people I am closest to, I actually have very little in common with most of them. I have friends who are married women with kids, living in the suburbs just as I am, but I have just as many who are single, divorced, no kids, grown kids, grandkids, older, younger, city, farm, no college, Northern, Canadian, British, atheist, Muslim, African-American, Asian, and on it goes. I even have several (dare I say it) men who are my dear friends. On paper, these are not my counterparts. In life, I would not trade anything for a true friendship. One of the beautiful women I reference at the end of the essay, once asked me, "Why do you let them say that to you? Walk away." She was talking about some bullying that was regularly occurring. Until she said that to me, it never occurred to me that I had a choice. She gave me a choice and also made me realize that just as prejudice knows no borders, kindness is not held hostage to one group of people. So sing, baby...unless you sound like I do...in which case you better just hum...softly...so you can keep all those friendships. Share your stories of unexpected friendships with us. What do you look for in a friend?