I had a friend a long time ago who was so beautiful I had a crush on her. I never told her of course because I was shy and didn’t think she would like me in that way.
As time continued things happened in her life and her family moved to another state. Many years later I think I may have talked to her on Facebook and asked for her address and she gave it to me. I wrote her a letter about how I learned things in my life and why I felt we were such good friends. We had some things in common and I respected and cared for her. When she wrote back she said things that touched my heart like “You are always so sweet and I enjoyed knowing you.”
Why am I sharing this? Overwhelmingly the people with whom I have been kind and enjoyed their relationship also enjoyed their relationship with me. Connecting with people is a challenge for many reasons, but when you do connect it is so special. I can’t help but remember what Odo said about this. “Perhaps it is the difficulty of connection that causes people to value it so much.”
Now this woman when we were younger hung out with other women who didn’t have a high social standing. Since we grew up in a religious community that was very puritanical, she and her friends were called uncharitable words because they would date. I never for a moment judged them or thought less of them because of their dating. Life is difficult and if people can find comfort in others then why not? Isn’t that better than turning to drugs or worse?
However, as a consequence of being friends with her and having friendships with other women in this group, my social status decreased. I didn’t care about this but I did get questioned about it. Many people said “Why are you friends with those women? They aren’t religious and virtuous like ourselves.” I would laugh and say that they had a great sense of humor and we shouldn’t judge others. Other friends thought I was trying to date them which I wasn’t at the time. I really did just enjoy their friendship and I didn’t need more than that.
I am not thinking about my past experiences to see what I did wrong. I remember them because of what I did right. I made respect and friendship more important than short-term pleasure or gain. You can’t go wrong in life when you offer friendship to others.