I am sitting here, waiting for an inspiration. I actually glanced through the newspaper- same old, same old. Nothing jumps out at me, nothing that spurs my creative juices and uplifts (or upsets) my spirit, giving me a thought or a divine inspiration with which to blog about this morning.
We have a friend from Philadelphia, who we met while being Docents together at the Zoo there, staying with us this weekend. My older sister, Wendy, has visited us often, but no one else has come down here. We have even had family as close as an hour or less away vacationing at Disney or other Florida vacation spots and, believe it or not, they never even called Donna to ask if they could meet.
There’s a message for us! Friendship, whether familial or social, is something that needs to be worked at. It is something that needs to be watered with sacrifice (I let Jeanette do my Cryptoquip in the paper this morning) and fed with constant connections.
And I don’t mean Facebook or Twitter. Those posts and notifications are essentially one-way communications. Think about it- it really is all about me me me: My opinion, where I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going, copy and share, like this page, me me me me me!!
Friendship, true friendship, true family, is not about me, it’s about you. It’s about the other person, it’s about taking time from your schedule not to tell them what you are doing or where you are going, but to ask them what they are doing, where are they going, how do they feel? Friendship is sharing, and that means being a friend to someone who needs to share their feelings, and they should be there to let you share yours.
I know people who wonder, out loud sometimes, why they can’t meet someone who will complete their life, make them happy, make them feel good about themselves and make them feel loved. My answer is that they will never find anyone to do that for them until they are able to do that for someone else. My marriage to Donna works so well because we aren’t about what the other one does for me, but what I do for the other one. I prepare her cup for when she wants her morning tea before I fix my coffee, and she will have everything I need to make coffee ready for me when I wake up (the few times I sleep later than she does.)
It’s things like this, little things, every day, that we need to do to reconnect with our family and friends. Texts and posts on social media are a cop-out.
The same is true with God. We need to reconnect with God daily, daily prayer is essential to maintaining our relationship with Him. The Torah section we are in covers the days at the end of the slavery in Egypt, and we are going to hear a lot going forward in the book about the children of Israel in the desert. They had divinely delivered food, they had water from rocks, their clothes didn’t wear out, they got to see God, Himself, on Sinai! And heard His voice! Oy!
Yet, they k’vetched and moaned and whined over and over, for months, and even years. They didn’t reconnect with God until He had to slap them upside their heads, with quails that made them sick, with snakes to bite them, with plague, and with fire from heaven. The history of God’s people, Israel, is one of taking Him for granted.
If we take God for granted, how much more so do we take each other for granted? That has to stop. This has to be nipped in the bud and we need to get our heads back on our shoulders, out of Facebook and Twitter.
These aren’t making communication better- they are destroying what makes communication worthwhile! They remove the personal and compassionate relationships we have when we take the time to sit and write, to call and speak, to connect one-to-one instead of one-to-many.
Is God important enough to you to speak with Him only? Is there anyone in your life you care enough about that you want to spend time connecting to him or her alone? Is there a friend or family member that you love so much you don’t want to share them with me, or my friends, and their friends’ friends all at the same time?
I am going to post on my Facebook page this week, once I get the wording correct in my head (you ‘d think that should be simple, given all the empty space I have to work with) a last post. I enjoy some of the posts, I like how I have connected with people who I wouldn’t have connected with, but I am going to end my FB because it is NG for me. I am in communication, but I am not communing. If the people I am reading posts from and replying to can’t take the time to write me a personal note or email, then my friendship (in their mind) must not be worth taking any extra effort to maintain. And making personal posts isn’t the answer- it’s still just a FB post, albeit a different format. And if I am that unimportant, they won’t really miss me. And, hurtful as it may be to find out that if it takes an effort to stay in touch with me I am not worth it to them, at least that will be an honest and truthful relationship. I have friends who, to me, are like family but I know I am not like family to them. I am usually the one making all the effort to communicate, and since I have known these friends for decades, I know from this long relationship that I am important to them, they just don’t take the time because that is how they are. It hurts, and sometimes it makes me really mad, but when we are together I can feel their love and friendship. They need me as much as I need them, it’s only that I am better at understanding the dynamics of the relationship. And that’s not from me, that’s from God in me.
There are those that are givers, and those that are takers- neither one is wrong or right, they are just what they are. The world needs to be in balance, and I am a giver and many of my friends are takers. They need me, and I need them- we balance and complete each other. One of the hardest lessons I had to learn in life was to accept generosity as easily and quickly as I give it. It is much harder for me to accept a gift than to give one, and the way I learned was to remind myself how wonderful it makes me feel to be able to give something nice to someone. Then, I turn that around and when I am uncomfortable taking a gift, I remember how nice I feel when I share or give something to someone, and tell myself that I am being selfish and discompassionate by not letting that person have that same feeling.
We all know it is better to give than to receive, and so when we are supposed to receive something let’s “give” the other person that wonderful feeling by receiving it joyfully and appreciatively.
And stay in touch with each other; no greater love is there than that one should give one’s life for a friend- isn’t that what Yeshua tells us?
It’s a lot easier to write a personal memo or make a phone call than it is to die.
PS: If you agree, please comment after you read this. Scroll down and agree that we need to be more personal in our relationships, we need to be more about the other person than about ourself, we need to reconnect with God, friends and family in a way that makes the other person feel we are really speaking only to them. We must take the time and make the effort to communicate with them, only them, and no else but them, because they are that important to us.