What’s wrong with our old friends? Nothing.
Old friends, the real friends, are treasures to be cherished. The ones how have been here for us and with us through the most trying of times, should beheld onto. The ones who have shared their strength and wisdom when ours was weak. The ones who have encouraged us when we were unsure. The ones who offered courage when we were afraid. Those who know us at times, better than we know ourselves, should be kept close.
But new friends, those diamonds in the rough, need be welcomed. The gifts they bring, a key to doorways of adventures that await. Especially when we understand that not all new friends, are people. But let’s start with them.
Those folks that suddenly appear in our lives out of nowhere, or the ones who you may have seen but not spoken with. The ones who bring a different thought process, a different attitude, a different perspective. You don’t have to agree with all they believe and say. Only realize that is their point of view, and that view can give you a better comprehension of what you believe. Consider it one of many routes to get you to one destination. Understanding.
Obviously people of different backgrounds and lifestyles see things differently. Coming together to discuss any and all things can and often does lead to great discoveries. It can and does lead to a correction of mindsets. It can and does, lead to betterment. The things that make up a person’s background, their history, their family, their ancestry, are all ingredients of who they are. Those various ingredients when combined with those of another, can bring about knowledge and understanding and in the process, create better for all.
Age should not be a factor. While some older folks many not fully comprehend and embrace some aspects of modern technology, the wealth of information and understanding they possess of the past makes them invaluable. Even if what they are saying seems trivial now, later you will look back with fondness and appreciation.
Financial status. I believe, that one can learn more about the human condition and connection more from talking with the homeless and poor than one can from talking with the most elite. When one gets too high off the ground, they tend to lose the connection.
If you have ever had animals as family members, you understand this one. Not the dog you keep confined outside, or the cat that roams about the neighborhood calling no particular place home. I mean the dogs, cat, birds, pigs, that you bring inside and share a good expanse of time with. The ones that when they sit down beside you or snuggle up to you, that you can look into their eyes and see their heart.
The ones who get excited to see you even if all you did was take out the trash. The ones who instinctively understand when you are having a bad day and move close, to simply keep you company. They do not have to be service animals, even as service animals are important and incredibly special.
Any animal, that shows that bond, is a friend. I walk the woods behind my house often. I have had animals become accustomed to my presence and they accept it without fear. They watch my approach and passing as if it were as natural as the wind. I have a neighbor who the animals of the wood come to visit. If the door to their home is open, the birds will fly right in and hang out. Racoon rest on the porch and possum under the porch. The deer walk right out of the woods and make themselves at home. They know there is no risk of harm there. All of this puts this neighbor in seventh heaven.
I spent a lot of time feeling lonely over the course of the last four years. I missed my late husband terribly. I even missed the unpleasant discussions we had from time to time. I missed the phone calls that no longer came, the weekends when he would be home. I missed the connection. A few attempts at making a connection with others failed. One’s self-confidence takes a serious hit when that happens.
Then the pandemic came to town. The results of the pandemic, cost me my job. All of the powers that held control, declared stay at home and stay apart rules. While I am one who has always been hesitant around people I don’t know well, now I was like many others, separated from nearly everyone. Stuck in a sort of vacuum where sounds of voices was rare.
The thing about that, I found a deeper connection with my faith. It became less a thought and more an action, a lifestyle. When the feelings of loneliness dropped in, I could take a walk in the woods, or out in my yard and talk. About anything, everything and nothing. I could empty my confused mind and troubled spirit of all that was bothering me. On most of those conversations and requests, I have gotten answers. Let me amend that, in a few of them, I’ve received a, ‘not yet, wait a while longer’ response.
The pandemic took a lot from me, but it gifted me with this closer walk. It gifted me with this greater faith. It gifted me with a stronger belief and hope. It gifted me not just with a closer walk with my Lord and Savior, it gifted me with a friend. Who loves me like no one else, human or animal is capable.