March 4, 2013
My friend and her daughter made a little news a few weeks ago. It was a personal issue. The daughter announced that she was marrying a man who was born in another country. The young woman didnít know how her friends would feel about it and she didnít really care. Now that she had gotten to know him, it was as if she had known him all l her life.
The two women soon found out a lot about the people they thought they knew. They soon found that many of the people who were their friends only seemed to like people who were like themselves. They were not anxious to meet strangers. Obviously, they seemed to prefer to stay in their own little group.
When my friend learned that her future son-in-lawís relatives were coming for a visit, she began to make plans to entertain them. But as the time grew nearer she found that few of her friends were eager to meet them. She finally decided not to make the effort, it was too difficult. In the end, she only invited her closest friends to meet the young manís family.
Facing up to the fact that her and her daughterís friends were not the openly liberal people she thought they were was not a pleasant experience. More and more each day, she found their conversations venturing into areas that made her feel uncomfortable. She knew that the country where her daughterís new fiancť was born was not wealthy and sophisticated and hardly a place where her friends would feel comfortable. She also knew that his relatives were kind but simple people who would feel intimidated by their friends.
The more she thought about it, the more she realized that she was going to have to bridge the gap. She was not willing to make her daughter unhappy and she truly cared about the young man she was about to marry. She decided she wanted to make the matter right. She knew that it wasnít that her friends were thoughtless and unkind, it was that they didnít know any better and she was allowing them to get away with it. She had a job to do and she would do it.
She had a party and invited their friends. She showed them a movie, made in the fiancťís home country. The movie told the story of his country and the simple ways of his people. When the movie was over, the room filled with a kind of quietness and people began to stumble over themselves to talk. People began to show their embarrassment. They soon realized their rudeness in failing to try to get to know the young man instead of wrongly assuming that he was like them.
By the time the wedding happened, the world had become a better place. Thatís what friends are for.
Easter will soon be here. It is a joyous time of year. It makes me feel a sense of renewal as if I can start my year all over again.
Itís a good feeling.