Be a Friend

We all know we aren’t supposed to compare ourselves to others. Something I have observed though, is when people I know have hundreds of Instagram friends / followers. It is something I don’t really understand. And when I say I don’t understand, I really mean that. Who follows who? Do they follow (and thus, get followed back) by everyone they have ever met? At what level of an acquaintance, is it acceptable to find people on Instagram and follow them? I actually am baffled. Do they maintain friendships with more than 700 people? It sounds exhausting.

I have thought on this subject to some extent. Am I just not putting in enough effort with people I meet? Should I compare myself with others? Should I have more friends? And the answer to all of these questions quickly pops into my mind: no, that’s not the case; no, and; no, I think I have the right amount of friends and relationships. But, equally, I don’t want to neglect relationships. My networks have included family, obviously. Friends from my youth or school days, friends from college, friends from my Holland experience, and work friends and connections.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Victoria, dropping off my older son to get ready for his hockey game at the recreation centre. As I was parking, a car opposite was also parking. Then I started to notice, that might look like a Holland friend… that husband actually matches pictures I have seen of her family on Facebook. And there is a baby, ok yup, that’s her. She was also an exchange student in Holland the same time I was. She was living in a different Dutch city but we got together a few times as we had in common Vancouver Island as our home. I haven’t seen her since. That was over 20 years ago. We only connected again on Facebook about 2 years ago. And there she was in the flesh. So I hopped out of my car and went to go say hi and meet her family. We chatted briefly, made plans to connect for coffee now that we’ve confirmed where about each of us live (not too far away).

This morning, I had a synchronistic moment. I was thinking of a friend I used to work with. She is retired now, but I enjoyed working with her so much. I thought to myself, ‘that’s someone I would like to have coffee with.’ Not 3 hours later, she was at my work and I happened to be up at the copier or I would not have seen her. I told her exactly what had crossed my mind and when she is back from a couple of weeks golfing in Arizona, we will meet up.

My dad would say SO often when we were kids, ‘If you want a friend, be a friend.’ He said it so much to the point we would joke about it and roll our eyes in a joking way when he would say it again. My mom has had one or two friends that didn’t put in much effort, but mom would reach out, plan a coffee date maybe once a year, and years later they would tell her how glad they were that she didn’t give up on them. They were glad for her friendship and just got ‘busy’ and would never initiate plans from their end. They realized that if she hadn’t called to meet, that over the years, because they didn’t put in effort, they would have found themselves friendless.

So do I need hundreds of friends? No. Does it really matter how other people seem to have hundreds (or more) acquaintances on social media? No- because that’s really not sustainable for me anyway.

I think my family will laugh that I am quoting dad and found his quote did in fact, provide a lesson. (You knew it would.) 🤪

Sending Love,


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