This past week I heard from an old graduate school buddy whom I adored. It was a trio: Mark, Paul, and Me (sounds like a rock band, doesn't it?). We were in classes together; studied together; pulled all-nighters together; and spent a lot of time at Boone Drug eating lunch -- grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup and sweet tea. Mark and I were each married; Paul wasn't. It was one of those relationships that you didn't want to see end. Yet, after graduation, we each returned to our normal life -- Mark back to his family in Kentucky; me to the farm; Paul to South Carolina to look for work. We wrote and talked for a while, but, as life gets busy, one gets lost and looses those connections.
Flash forward ten years. Out of the clear blue I got a wonderful email: "Is this you?" Seems Mark and Paul found me through the blog. I was thrilled to hear from Paul and to catch up. We tried for three Fridays to catch each other on the phone, but something always kept us from talking, until last week.
I knew his voice immediately. "Hey!" and it was just as though we had just left the drug store from lunch.
"Mark found you; he said you have gone religious and organic," Paul laughed.
Hmmm... Interesting evaluation of who I am. And, frankly, who I have always been.
How many times do we judge people based on our own values rather than taking the time to learn who they are? How many hours do we spend with people and yet never really know what they dream, desire, or need? And, how many people do we pigeon hole without ever knowing the true substance of their heart, soul, and intellect?
Most of my life it has felt as though I have been overlooked. It seems no one values my opinion nor wants to hear what I want. It is always what they want. If I offer advice or an opinion, I am talked over and told Why I Am Wrong. My pitcher is full.
Yes, I am religious. Yes, I am organic. And, yes, I have a dreams, hopes, and desires of my own. Don't you?