Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Glue of Friendship

After my friend watched "The llth Hour" trailer on YouTube, she e-mailed me that "yeah, she had been noticing things" but she had other concerns and that it was hard for her to prioritize. For some reason my immediate response was to tell her about my mother's "glue of friendship quote."

When I was a young woman and my mother was alive she would write letters to me. Sometimes she would enclose newspaper clippings, little sayings and things. Once she sent me about three pages from one of those little yellow "legal" pads filled with sayings she had copied down. One of my favorites was, "Good things are not cheap. Cheap things are not good." The glue of friendship saying was attributed to Woodrow Wilson and it went like this:

The glue of friendship is the only thing that will hold this world together.

So you may ask, what has this saying to do with setting priorities in this world today? Well, this is how I see it... sort of:

So many "issues" demand our attention, let alone commitment--Global warming is one which demands mine. Another one is the plight of "the four indigenous peoples" of the Sierra Nevada mountains of Colombia. Another is health care in the U.S. Another is Darfur. These and others are important to me.

But sometimes our issues can dehumanize us in that we tend to "write off" those who don't share our view of things. A true friendship can be the antidote to this.

My friend and I have different priorities; we disagree about some things.
But because she is my friend and I love and respect her, I will listen to her and care about her opinions. I'm pretty sure it's the same with her.

Unfortunately, a lot of TV "pundits" demonstrate the unfriendly model of discourse by displaying contempt for those who don't agree with them. Some bloggers do this, too. Not a good strategy for the human race.

More and more I am thinking that attending to friendship is a very important strategy in solving world problems such as global warming. This is especially true when it comes to friends who are not members of groups with which we identify, who don't share our priorities.

Don't get the idea that I've been good at this kind of thing. But I want to be. And I am learning. Touching base with an old friend via the worldwide web was a lesson.--Artemisa's Granddaughter