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So many of us go through life, passing friends we haven’t met on the streets or sitting next to temporary strangers at the local coffee shop, never bothering to exchange so much as a greeting. Yes, I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to avoiding people. My life is marked with far more people I’ve ignored than those I’ve engaged in conversation. I’m not suggesting that we get all weird and go through our day saying hello to every person we see, but I’ve often wondered if one single conversation, with a stranger, could lead to a life-long friendship.
Everyday we encounter people who may be a future friend. Someone who simply doesn’t yet know that they are a friend in the making. As I think about my current friendships, each one began with a simple, “glad to meet you.” Four words that laid the foundation for a meaningful friendship. What if we offered those words to one new person a day…and then watched to see if that simple encounter led to a relationship that lasted a lifetime.
As I think about the holidays it occurs to me that many people will spend the final days of 2013, alone-without so much as one caring friend. I realize I can’t be best buddies with the world but do I have room for one more friend? Can I give a greeting to people I pass by, encourage someone unexpectedly, or strike up a conversation in order to brighten someone’s day?
We don’t put pictures of things in a photo album. We put pictures of people. As I look back on my life it’s not the amount of money I’ve made or the things I possess that I remember most. Rather, it’s the friendships I’ve made and the people who have offered themselves to me as a trusted friend. For this and for them, I am eternally grateful. It’s during difficult times that a friend shows the depth of the relationship.
I love this video. It shows us the dynamic potential for future friendships. Some may think this risky or uncomfortable in it’s approach. But aren’t all relationships? With each encounter we face the possibility of rejection or hurt. Yet with each new encounter we open ourselves to meeting a new friend.
Would you be willing to greet one new person each day?
How will you brighten someone’s day during this holiday season?