December 16 – Friendship
How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
(Author: Martha Mihalick)
Brief post today, because, quite frankly, all of my friends continue to drive the evolution of my perspective on the world. I am privileged to have such a colourful bunch of friends, from all walks of life, from different cultures and races and who hold different religious beliefs and values. I am consistently amazed to learn about and, more importantly, understand what many of my friends consider “normal”. Moreover, being challenged about my own version of “normal” also continues to be a fascinating exercise. As someone with a very liberal view of the world, who is religiously agnostic (or, as I like to call it, “hedging my bets”!) and has had a middle class upbringing, some of my friends found my willingness to become "mortgaged" prior to becoming married confronting. To me it was totally normal and acceptable – I’d even go as far as saying it was a prudent decision. Others marvel at what they consider to be a privileged upbringing – compared to them it likely was; compared to most of my peers at the time, it was simple, loving and comfortable. Some find my drive to keep learning somewhat strange. However, I will always be drawn to ways to absorb new information. Others do not understand the love and compassion I have for animals. The list goes on...
In spite of our different values, I truly appreciate all of these perspectives. In fact, I wish more people in the world would sit down and discuss, debate and laugh about such things. Not only will we find that we are all more similar than we are different, but I also believe that by articulating our norms, we can engender acceptance.