Greetings! I hope your week is going really well.
For this mid-week moment with some Global SKILLs insights, and going more deeply into one essential aspect of community building dynamics (see my blog post last week for starters), I have been delighted and at the same time challenged in the past few days through several media stories about friendship. I’ll share about two of them here and revisit this topic in coming weeks. I have included links below for the ones I mention.
The first story is about what some of us may think of as a nod to superficial friendship...and yet, I hope it inspires you to think more deeply about the potential of seemingly basic gestures. It involves a gentleman I have had the honor and pleasure to interact with personally. He is the gatekeeper at our local University Campus, and I have been graciously greeted by him numerous times since, as a visitor, I always have to stop at the gate and get a parking permit. This super friendly fellow literally starts every conversation I have ever had with him by saying, with a huge smile and wave, “You know, you are my friend”. The first few times he did this, I thought it was quaint...and perhaps a bit odd. But then, one day I actually met him while we were both waiting in a doctor’s office. I recognized him, he greeted me in his usual way and we started to chat. He told me a bit of his background, and explained his sincerely ‘friendly’ demeanor (as he does in the story - see link below). What a potentially relationship transforming outlook, and what a great friendship and community building strategy! And this from a man who had ‘great’ life aspirations - but then, due to a brain injury, became limited in his mental and physical capacities...and yet, and yet, every day on the job, he brings one special gift of friendship to multitudes of people who drive by his gate.
The second story is about two women who have forged a unique cross-cultural, multi-racial friendship. They are sharing their story in many ways, including through a new book which I would like to read. I heard them interviewed recently and am intrigued by their ‘cultures of friendship’ (my phrase) perspectives and also their insights into some of today’s interracial concerns. Their version of friendship is anything but superficial even on the surface - they talk about how hard in fact they have worked over the years on the dynamics of friendship, which includes a business partnership. One of my take-aways from this story, in my own words, is to examine my friendships in light of what they call ‘shining’, which is to always in some way rejoice and celebrate with a friend’s accomplishments, recognizing that my friend’s ‘sparkle moment’ sheds light in my own life.
How about you - any friendship thoughts or particular challenges you might like to examine? Share about it here - or with a friend!
And have a great day!
Til next week,
Global SKILLs LINKs
The “My Friend’ story about a simple gesture: https://nbc-2.com/news/story2share/2020/08/24/friend-to-all-at-fgcu-returns-to-campus/
The “BIG” friendship story, about two women who have forged a unique friendship
Celebrating Global SKIlls 10th Anniversary
~~ Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community