The Kind Of Friend You Want To Be
Sometimes I am guilty of trying to write the kind of post that makes you cry, but not always. There are other moments that I try to write something inspirational and or humorous.
Those are moments that I try to avoid because they usually don’t produce the results I want. It is like trying to force a feeling. I can’t make you love me and even if I could that is not how I want to be.
My best moments in writing come when I just let myself be and I write about whatever it is I am writing about.
It reminds me of friendship. It reminds me of remembering not to try too hard because the people that like us will do so because of who we are and not because of what we have.
Dad’s Words of Wisdom
It is a discussion I have had more than once with the children. We talk about what is going on in school and sometimes I hear stories about mean girls and boys who aren’t nice.
I tell the children to try to be the kind of friend you want to be. These aren’t just words to me or something you say out of obligation. I mean them.
In part it is because I have been very fortunate to have some of the best friends a person can have. I have blogged about them before, some recent and some less so. One day my children will read this blog and posts like What Kind of Friend Are You? will help reinforce what I am talking about, but that is years down the road.
These discussions have to happen now. I can’t shield them from everything and life forces you to confront the end of their innocence at a pace that isn’t always in sync with when you would choose to make the change.
I suppose it is part of why I write letters to my children.
Be Your Own Advocate
When I talk with the kids and friends about the rules of the game I often mention the need for us to serve as our own advocates. If we don’t do it then who will.
But the question is how to do it in a fashion that isn’t obnoxious but is still effective. I don’t know that I have an answer for that. It is a subjective question. It is something we all have to figure out how to do.
It is part of why I blog. It is part of how I figure out what is important and necessary. It is part of how I determine what direction I wish to take and what pace I wish to walk or work at.
My Friends Read My Blog
Very few of my real life friends read this blog. In part that is because I have kept it away from most of them, but that is not what this is about.
This is about the lesson I have learned about being the kind of friend I want to be online as well as offline. This is about acknowledging that I have made many friends online and although we don’t hang out in person we meet here with more regularity than I get to see those real life friends.
That doesn’t take anything away from them. It is part of the nature of this online world we walk around in. It is easy to meet here. It is like being back in school. It is a central gathering place that we can hit.
So when I say my friends read my blog I can do so with complete honesty. I can say I am trying to be a good friend online and offline. I am trying to be the kind of friend I want for me and for my children.
When I opened my eyes possibilities turned into opportunities and I am glad to share it with you.
This post is part of Yeah Write #66 one of my favorite writing communities.
Joe July 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm
Self promotion is not easy, but you get over it. i his the Like button for you.
TheJackB July 20, 2012 at 12:44 am
Thank you Joe, I appreciate it.
photographerbecky July 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm
I feel so sad for kids growing up. It is very hard to be a good friend. I pray for my son every day. I am hoping things get better in 7th grade. The first year of middle school was CRAZY! : (
TheJackB July 20, 2012 at 12:42 am
Â @photographerbecky I am wondering what middle school is going to be like for my kids. The great adventure starts in a month or so.
Mark_Harai July 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm
The one value in social media that can’t be measured is the value of a friendship. It’s priceless.
I have both analog and digital friends that I put in the priceless category : )
TheJackB July 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm
Â @Mark_Harai Analog and digital friends- that is awesome, love that line.
FamilyViewed July 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm
@realmattdaddy @TheJackB Great post
TheJackB July 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm
@FamilyViewed @realmattdaddy Thank you!
rdopping July 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm
Hey Jack. I have one friend from high school with whom I still speak regularly. When we get together we are like we were back then. All silliness. Grown men, sheets. Where does the time go?
I do hope that some of the friendships I am forging here in the blogosphere will evolve in the same manner. I really do enjoy this space when I can get to it and the diversity of people is unparalleled. Not too many of my IRL friends blog and I am ok with it. Have to be, I guess.
I am honoured to find places like this where I can come and engage without judgement. It really is another world. A fun one at that.
Thanks again for inspiring me.
TheJackB July 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm
Â @rdopping Hi Ralph,
I can only speak from my experience but those types of friendships are definitely possible here. I have made and continue to make them. It has been a wonderful experience that didn’t start until I opened my eyes and realized it was possible.
KDillabough July 19, 2012 at 5:23 am
I’m extending my hand:)….Loved your most recent newsletter, and this post. I’m honoured to be a friend, to visit here, to chat, to share and to “be there”, when and if you ever need a safe haven to share, a strong shoulder to lean on or a place to simply rant. Cheers! Kaarina
TheJackB July 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm
Â @KDillabough The honor is mine. I am grateful and as I say to friends in “real life” we shouldn’t wait until things are bad to talk. Always up for good rant. 😉
bdorman264 July 19, 2012 at 4:43 am
Other than my wife, and she only reads it to make sure I’m not TMI, I’m pretty sure none of my IRL friends read my blog. Which is fine; I don’t broadcast I’m a blogger but I don’t shy away from it either. Once I become rich and famous we’ll see how fast they flock to it, huh?Â
I really try to be a good friend and I don’t know if this is a guy thing but I’m going to blame it on being a guy thing; I don’t do a good job of reaching out at times. Social lets me do it because it’s right in front of me, but IRL it can be hit or miss.
My best friend from college who I still keep in touch with lives in Charlotte; we talk maybe 4-5 times a year and try to get together at least once during the year. We usually don’t call each other just to catch up, but we know how to find each other. Maybe that’s why we are still friends……….:).Â
I try to be personable and treat others like I would want to be treated. Most of the time it works….
Gina1 July 18, 2012 at 11:13 am
AAAHHHH! A heart’s true friends, there’s nothing like it! You are lucky to have very close friends in both your “real” life and in this online community. You share yourself and it comes back to you.Â
TheJackB July 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm
Â @Gina1Â It took a long while to recognize how valuable the online community is, but I am grateful I did.
And the ‘real life’ friends are simply awesome. I am very lucky.
Hajra July 18, 2012 at 7:27 am
It doesn’t always matter where you friends come from – offline or online. They important thing is having both. I know kids who are terrible with offline interactions because people are being mean to them but then they are awesome in the online world. I keep telling them to find people in the real world who will appreciate them for their being awesome just as much. Some of my best friends in the real world have no idea what I am doing online. They feel it is a waste of time, because it isn’t paying me millions. But then….
TheJackB July 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm
Â @Hajra Â There are benefits to both sides. The online world makes it much easier to get to know people without theÂ interferenceÂ of preconceived notions based upon physical appearances.
It is nice to be able to just talk without getting caught up in all that other crap.
StartYourNovel July 18, 2012 at 4:53 am
True, you can’t force feelings. At best you can open a door and let people cross the threshold if they want to. Honesty is the best way to open emotional doors (at least that’s what I think).
Side note: I don’t have children, but I once wrote a letter to an imaginary son. Nothing held back. I learned more about myself in 15 minutes than I had in months of aimless soul-searching. So keep writing letters to your children, Jack. Not only will they thank you for it, but it’s also Listerine for the soul.
TheJackB July 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm
Â @StartYourNovelÂ John, that is one of my favorite lines in recent memory, “Listerine for the soul.”Â
It is just very cool and it really works.
I would encourage you to consider writing those letters too. They are magical, kids or no kids.
CrossBetsy July 18, 2012 at 4:47 am
It really doesn’t matter where they come from-friends, that is- but that we are friends and have friends who like who we are and what we do, and are cognizant enough of the value of showing up to enjoy, support and share each other. Right?
Some of my best friends offline never read my stuff. Some of my best friends online don’t either. But it’s strange to me that online friends, the ones you meet here, don’t read or enjoy what I do. That’s originally what our relationship was about. I don’t get it even though I sort of do!
TheJackB July 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm
Â @CrossBetsyÂ The value of showing up to support each is immeasurable. The world is a much warmer and more inviting place when you have friends you can rely upon.