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Archive for March, 2012

Toxic Baby

http://www.ted.com/talks/tyrone_hayes_penelope_jagessar_chaffer_the_toxic_baby.html

Watched this talk on TED.com the other day. This has implications on so many levels… I’m not going to rattle on endlessly about all the things I was thinking about as I watched this talk, I’m just going to tell you to watch it and think about it. Needless to say, my baby will be drinking from BPA-free bottles and sippy cups.

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Had a conversation about friendship with two friends a while back. We spoke about it some, and then wrote a little more back and forth on facebook. This was several months ago, and I’ve found myself thinking about that interchange quite a lot lately. The gist of the conversation was something to this effect: To be happy with the role of friends in your life, you should always keep your expectations low. That way, you deal very little with disappointment, and friendships remain intact with little maintenance. If you expect nothing from your friends, you cannot be hurt when they disappoint you…in whatever area your increased expectations lie….

I see the point that was made. I have, upon numerous occasions, set myself up for disappointment with unrealistic expectations. For example, expecting a friend to take the place of family members is usually an unrealistic expectation for it is your family who has you on their heart and mind more regularly than one who has their own family to think of and plan for.

However, inherent in the word “friend” are expectations. Some words come  already loaded with expectations. In a mutual, true friendship, I have expectations. I expect that we will be in touch on a reasonably regular basis. This doesn’t mean that time passing without contact will destroy the friendship, but that we will be missed during long periods apart, and it will be as though that time never happened when we are once again in contact.

I expect that we will, to the best of our human ability, be there for each other when support is needed. This will sometimes mean dropping what we are doing to come to the aid of a friend….or putting aside our plans to be there in varying instances of need.

I expect that honesty will be at the heart of the relationship when it really counts. This doesn’t mean that it is brutal, but that it is kind when it is needed and might hurt. If I ask the opinion of a true friend, I expect the truth. I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t want it.  You respect the opinion of a true friend enough to care about what they have to say.

Inherent in the word friend is the belief that we will enjoy and seek out opportunities to do things together from time to time.

If these things are not the case, then the person falls into the category of “acquaintance” rather than “friend.” There may be people who imagine more or less in a friendship, but these are the expectations that I have.

I have to say that there have been many times in my life when there was no one around who fit this bill.  Henry Adams said “To have one friend in a lifetime is much, two are many, three are hardly possible.”

If you have a friend like this in your life, don’t take it for granted! Enjoy the oasis in your life that a true friend brings…..

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