February 3, 2009

Will you be my friend?

Filed under: Loving Thy Neighbor,Pressing Toward the Mark — Katryna Starks @ 8:13 pm

When I was younger, my cousin and I were walking to the store. On the way there, we saw some teenage girls. My cousin walked up to one of them and introduced herself and then said “You’re nice. Will you be my friend?” Being a pre-teen girl myself, with her only a few years younger, I was mortified. That was the most “uncool” thing one could possibly do. However, the girl didn’t ridicule my cousin. She said “Yes, I’ll be your friend” and they talked for a few minutes. Then we went on our way.

Looking back, I think of that moment and I have a different view. Instead of thinking of how uncool it was, I feel a longing for how simple things used to be. Somehow, in adulthood, the need to connect is still there, but the means is vastly different. We can’t just walk up to people and say “Hi. Will you be my friend?” It’s seen as strange. But why is that? Did we grow out of the need for friends? Should we have to jump through hoops in order to qualify for a “Hello” from another person?

One of my new year’s resolutions is to be more open. I want to start with my FaceBook friends. Most of my friends are just people who sit on the page and I rarely see or talk to them, but I can make an effort to reach out. Post some messages on a few walls every day. Leave some private messages asking how people are doing. Of course, my FaceBook friends are people I know and therefore should be interacting with. However, hopefully this will lead to me being able to be more open with people I don’t know, making an effort to say hi or start some small talk. And, just once, I want to get up the nerve to say to someone I’ve just met, “You’re nice. Will you be my friend?”