I know this post will be a little different than many of my previous posts, but I felt I needed to get some balance back into what we do. Halving things is good, but some things simply shouldn’t be minimized. There were a number of factors leading up to this that I need to explain, so stay with me, OK? This might be a bit of a circuitous journey today.
First, the picture is of my wife Brenda on the left and her friend Shelley. They grew up together and both couples of us are all still friends. It’s from a hiking trip the four of us took a couple of years ago. But that isn’t where this post started.
Last night I was at a BBQ and was talking with another friend of mine. He mentioned how he was blogging at a local coffee shop with some friends of his and related that story to me. But that isn’t where this blog started, either. It was, however, the trigger.
What it did was remind me of the day, some weeks ago, I was at that same coffee shop (the best coffee shop in Eugene, by the way), waiting to meet a friend when the most vivd example of friendship unfolded right before my eyes. And this is where this blog started.
As I was waiting for my friend, I was people-watching. Coffee shops especially are great places for this activity. And what I saw was the most incredible thing. Carefully, methodically, two men came up to the door together. Not typically unusual except one was in a wheelchair and the other was pushing him. Also not terribly unusual except the man pushing him was blind. Now before we go to “a blind guy was pushing a guy in a wheelchair” jokes, stop and think about what was being played out for a minute.
As they approached the door, the man in the wheelchair was speaking directions to the blind man pushing him. He was carefully, descriptively letting him know what to do, left, right, wait a bit while I get the door handle, now inside over a bump, here’s a table, there’s a chair to your left. The blind man sat down next to the man in the wheelchair who then looked up at the menu and said “I see something you’d really like” and proceeded to describe it to him.
It was the most amazing and beautiful example of friendship I think I’ve seen. Their relationship was one of mutual need. The man in the wheelchair needed a push, the blind man needed direction. They each had something the other needed and willingly shared it. In a word, relationship.
And that brings me back to the BBQ last night. That was the simple, but often missed point my friend was making: that we need to concentrate on building our relationships with each other.
Because we need relationship. So halve your electricity use, your driving, etc, but don’t halve your friendships.