While living our hectic lives, we can miss the subtle clues of true friendship.
Nick attends a day program called Bridge Academy two days a week. He calls it going to school. They go on field trips and have outings all over the Seattle area. It is incredible. Nick missed a couple of days of school when he broke his ankle a few weeks ago. The teachers reported to us that the other students missed him.
How could the teachers tell that the other young people missed Nick being there? It was by their actions and not their words. All of the other students in Nick’s day program are non-verbal. One young man waits by the window in the mornings to watch for Nick’s arrival. When our car pulls up, with excitement he runs to the teachers, pulls on their arms and points to show them that Nick is coming. Then he runs over to the door to be ready to shake Nick’s hand when the door opens. Another young woman who is wheel-chair bound, smiles with her whole body when Nick comes into the classroom. Observing that connection brings a smile to my face. Each of the students has a distinct and obvious emotional and physical response to seeing Nick.
How do you define friendship? Is a friend someone you can count on to help when things are tough. Is a friend someone who will listen to your troubles and not judge you. What else do you think of as the qualities of a true friend?
These kids can’t really do any tasks for each other. They can’t chat on the phone, or send uplifting messages through social media. And yet the joy that they exhibit when they see each other is truly an indication of friendship. It is a lesson for us all.
Look around you and see if you can begin to notice indications of friendship. Someone who is excited to see you. Someone who just likes being around you. Someone that cares about you. We are surrounded by friendship and often we are completely unaware.
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