‘Friends’  just a word…. yet there are so many meaning to the word ‘friends’. I spent a part of this evening with friends and although they are new friends, I received a gift from just spending time with them.  One has recently had an injury that meant, with a broken ankle, she has been very incapacitated so has spent more time than she would normally watching TV and using the internet. I gave her my blog link and , bless her she reads what I write each day. Nothing unusual on that practice, I read many blogs from friends but the best thing was what she said to me….’ when I read your blog, I enter a different world than being sat here bored with a broken ankle, it’s like I enter a different place and can hear you talking …’  How wonderful to think that my writing can transport someone out of somewhere boring and maybe lonely. Then I think that writing is such a lonely thing in itself, anything I write takes time that is special to me, equally as special as the things I write about, and although I am blessed with the gift of being able to verbalise in print many thoughts and feeling, how even more special it becomes when you learn that the time I dedicated with so much feeling and thought  has also made a friend escape from a world she is trapped in…. be it only temporarily. I thank that friend because her words really encourage me as a writer so much…

During the same evening, my hostess welcomed me to her home. We were meeting a medium for a reading and I have been there before but this time was different, I knew everyone and we spent some time chatting while we waited for our time to go into the other room. It occurred to me that I have spent times in places, not unlike this but very different, where no one speaks. I feel sad when I think about those places. Each one of us has some wonderful stories, things that have happened to us, things we have done or experienced and thoughts we could share. How many of us have sat in doctor or dentist surgeries, hospital waiting rooms, bus stops… so many places, and yet no one has spoken a word. The time would pass so quickly if everyone chatted, shared a story or even reassured someone that they will be ok on hearing their problems. Everyone would part company feeling valued, listened to, reassured or just placed as a being in the space they were for that moment, important to that moment and a part of a greater universe.

But, we often sit in silence, unable to make the first move. It is probably easier if there is only one person but as group somehow, seems intimidating yet if they were to share the stories they all have there would, no doubt, be a common understanding, something that everyone could share. In times of great strife, during war, disaster, accident and so on, people share experiences and talk to each other, so why is it so difficult at any other time?  What prevents us from breaking the barriers of conversation. Maybe in the climate today, we are afraid to open ourselves? The media of TV  and newspapers have instilled in us a fear of strangers.  Maybe if we speak to people we open ourselves as vulnerable to attack. I have a theory on that too… years ago, long before TV etc, all news was passed word of mouth, people knew about other people, village ‘gossip’ was rife, everyone was curious or interested in others. Some people might call that bad because they couldn’t breathe without someone knowing about it…. I could have written a cruder and more realistic statement there but am behaving myself…. but going back to my theory, how many people were lying dead in their homes without being discovered, how many problems were ended in violence because there was no-one to help an angry situation to be avoided, if someone was sick there was always someone offering help, a child lost… people to help find them and so on… all because people spoke to each other.

 I feel sad that today so many people who have stories to tell sit silently in their homes, people who would willingly give their time to people who would love to have someone to listen to them are afraid to offer for fear of things that have been said in the media, on TV where films show people being taken advantage of and so today, in a world where it is so needed, nobody speaks to strangers any more. We are all afraid to be who we are and so a whole new world is growing, of people that never communicate, lonely people who are afraid of the stranger who might look them in the eye as they walk the street, people that sit next to each other, or sit as far as they can away from other people in a waiting room, a bus queue, on a public service vehicle. When the whole world is isolated like this then surely this can only mean more and more bad stuff is likely to happen because nothing is shared any more.

I dont know the answer to this but I do know that times spent with friends, old or new, times spent listening to a stranger tell their story, sharing a moment of a person’s life in a bus queue, times spent sharing a smile as people pass in the street, times being tolerant of someone who often annoys you, times just sharing a few moments with another person during the day, be it stranger or friend, can and will impact far more on both people and make life a little more bearable.

I heard somewhere along my life that a stranger is just a friend we have yet to meet…. maybe it is time to get out there and make those strangers a friend.

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Suzi said,

    thats really interesting…
    I remember sitting in the doctors in westbourne waiting to see dr tibbs with maica at a few weeks. a girl struck up a conversation with me and it felt uncomfortable… like we shouldn’t be talking. She was a bit of a chav… but it seems to me that sometimes these ‘chavs’ have the right idea.
    When you have a new baby I think you get alot of comments from strangers etc, which is nice.. maybe they’ve got the right idea. We were in the street on the first trip to town here and gypsy looking girl came up carrying her daughter who was about 4, and told me she liked my sling and that maica was beautiful. Oscars mum made it look like the girl was about to steal my baby but now i wonder if she was just being friendly and was lonely. its sad that they put these ideas into my head…. afterall you should always try ad make friends at every oppertunity?
    i wish i’d done it in the hospital with maica with the lady in the next bed! next time i’ll be more chatty!

    • 2

      wordangell said,

      Aww Suzi, I think you are learning so many lessons about life, especially since you have had your own daughter. Be open to new experiences, embrace those that wish to speak to you, there is nothing wrong with being cautious but never turn away the chance to say hello. It might just be you that will make the day of those that come across you on their journey. Remember also that just because people don’t conform to our way of thinking and believing, our dress code or social aspect in life, they too have their story and have feelings and thoughts just the way you do. I am proud of the way you are open to understanding and learning about new things and people, you are a lot of the way there to making a lot of strangers into friends. xxx

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