Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Art of Friendship

Making friends has always been easy for me. Keeping friends, though, takes a good amount of effort. I think of myself as someone who offers my friendship easily and freely, but I fear there are strings attached. I don’t know how to do the unconditional very well, I guess. Even with my grandson, who at this writing is three and utterly adorable, evokes resentment in me if he runs to grandpa first or asks me where grandpa is or refuses to give me a hug or kiss. He’s only three, for heaven’s sake, but still. I don’t think I’m unusual in my foibles of friendship, but while I am quick to see the fault in someone else’s actions, I am slow to realize that I am similarly guilty. What is the saying about holding up the mirror to oneself to see that which something or other? Sigh. But, I think when friends are annoyed with one another, or disappointed, true friendship means that this should be discussed and resolved. We humans are hard pressed to hear criticism very easily or to take the first step in resolution, but I guess we can determine who our friends really are by well we can offer – and accept – being called on some action or inaction. Or how easily we can step up to the plate to begin the dialogue. Acquaintances are another story, and we all have plenty of those. Acquaintances are easier and maybe in that very way less dear.

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