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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

“Someone hurt me at school today”, said my 4-year-old at the dinner table the other night. This seems to be a regular occurrence at school, so I didn’t think much of it. She is constantly telling me who IS and who ISN’T her friend. The status of Paige’s ‘friends’ can change as quickly as New England weather, so it is impossible to stay current. I can’t tell you how many times she has said to me,”You aren’t my friend anymore”, and then proceeded to frown as she shrugged her shoulders up toward her ears. If she does this to me, I can only imagine how she reacts to her playmates.

Finally, I decided I should ask her about the perpetrator of the ‘hurt’. “Who hurt you?”, I asked. At this point I was expecting to hear Paige describe what her friend (or now non-friends) had done to her during the day. Paige finally replied to my question very matter-of-factly, “I hurt myself. I tripped and fell.” Huh? Was that a joke? I don’t think she even knew it was a joke because she said it so seriously. I laughed because it sounded so funny. She thought I was laughing at her (which I guess I was in an odd sort of way). She was a bit sad that I was laughing at her, but I still laughed nonetheless. How could I not?

I anticipate that Paige will return to school on Monday declaring that, “My mommy laughed at me, she isn’t my friend any more.” Oh well, sometimes you just can’t be a perfect parent because I laughed at an unintended joke. I think sometimes the unintended jokes can be the funniest, even if Paige didn’t agree with me.

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This week I observed something strange as I saw friends become non-friends. A little honesty on Facebook taken the wrong way and the next thing you know people are ‘un-friending’ and quitting Meetup groups. Deep down it is much more than a spat and maybe ‘friend’ was too strong a word to begin with (maybe acquaintances would have been better). Normally I wouldn’t think much of this sort of thing (quibbles amongst friends) but it bothered me because from the surface one person told the truth and the other attacked instead of listening. They were given a mirror, but they didn’t want to look at it. It made me wonder why people have to be on the defensive because of the truth?

The truth can set you free, but only if you listen to it. In this case, someone was willing to go out on a limb and say what needed to be said. I mean if your friends can’t tell you the truth, who will? If you can’t listen to your friends, who can you listen to? Sure, your friends can get on your nerves or irritate you sometimes, but are you going to end a friendship over the truth? Is it so difficult to accept?

Oddly, tonight my 7-year-old was reading a story about a robot. The book talked about all the things that the robot could do, but the boy who owned the robot said the robot’s best talent was being a friend (the boy said this as he was hugging the robot?!?!). Is this the direction our world is going in? Your laptop computer becomes your best friend? Will robots replace our friends because they don’t tell us the truth and they don’t ask questions? I will say that robots are good at unconditional ‘love’ and maybe humans have lost the ability to do this in a sense. If robots can replace humans for ‘friendship’ what do we need more humans for? Supposedly humans have this higher brain function, but it doesn’t look like it sometimes (just watch any reality TV show and you know what I mean).

So I wonder, can you be a better friend today? Or should you just buy your friend a robot to replace you?

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