Tuesday, June 15, 2010
A friend is a friend - even 30 years later
After more than thirty years, having reconnected on-line, we wanted to meet in person, and were actually able to make it happen. Coming from Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia, we made our way back to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where we convened for dinner. Each of us was a little older, a bit wiser, slightly weathered by the twists and turns of coping with daily life.
I never read Hillary Clinton's It Takes a Village, but I wonder if she included friends in the influences considered important to a child's formation. As I looked around the table at my childhood friends, I knew they had helped to shape my values and attitudes. Although my parents were the central figures in my upbringing, no one can deny peer pressure and opinion is one of the strongest motivators in our lives as we muddle our way through the teenage years. It wasn't hard to remembering lessons I learned from one of my friends in sharing; from another, I developed a sense of compassion; a third showed me a thing or two about humility; another taught me the importance of letting go and having some fun.
For all of these gifts, and more, I owe my friends a giant "thank-you." I was lucky, and I hope my readers were also blessed with good friends. I also hope you will check on your children or grandchildren and their pals. It's a cliche that a kid can "get in with the wrong crowd" and get into trouble; it is, however, quite true!