Monday, January 17, 2011

Intimacy is Not Instant

Once upon a time people did not call people by their first names without being invited to do so. This lead to a charming moment where one could signal that you wanted to be more then acquaintances with someone by saying, “Do call me Sophia”.

I suppose the modern equivalent of that moment for most of us is sending a friend request to someone on Facebook.

I want you to think about that moment, where you ask an acquaintance to become a friend. I think it is pretty special. And that moment when they accept just feels wonderful doesn’t it? You have both agreed to a relationship that involves a little more disclosure and a little more emotional intimacy.

But in order to have these wonderful moments you must acknowledge that the whole world is not your friend. I know that modern society wants us to think differently, I am sure you have heard someone say “My name is LongerName but my friends call me NickName” to someone they have just met with the presumption that the person will call them by their nickname and be their friend.

It seems we have problems with the idea that not everyone is our friend. This doesn’t mean the world is not full of really lovely people with whom we could probably be friends, it is.* But friendship is something that requires some time and focus and we can’t give that to everyone.

Friendship is a commitment. Not a big one, but a commitment. It isn’t something you can give everyone, because it should mean something when offered.

*See A Lady is Surrounded by Ladies and Gentlemen

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