How many times……..

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How many times have you gone to bed thinking “I should have messaged XXXX. I’ll do it tomorrow”? Or driven home from work thinking, “I’ll phone XXXX once I’ve had dinner, done the laundry and got the kids to bed.”?

How many times have you thought, “I haven’t heard from XXXX for a while. They must be busy.”

How many times have you scrolled through Facebook and thought “XXXX hasn’t posted in a while. They must be taking a social media break.”?

Sounding familiar?

I’ll hold my hands up here. I can be as guilty of this as the next person.

I am not standing in judgement here by any means. Maintaining friendships takes work on both sides of the relationship.

In this frantic 21st Century world we live in, there are countless ways to keep in touch with friends and family. Stop and think for a moment how many different ways you can contact someone if you choose to.

Maybe in days gone by we were actually better at being friends to one another. In the past, pre-mobile phones, pre-internet and pre-social media, we picked up the phone (dragged it into another room till the curly wire was straight) and spoke to our friends. We met up more often to socialise in person. We wrote letters and sent them in an envelope with a stamp on it via the mail.

How many friendships survive these days on social media posts and text messages alone?

Yeah, I’m as guilty of that as the next person too.

Social media posts and text messages can mask so many things though. It’s so easy to create a false impression in our digitised world.

How many times have you posted something cheerful to your social media when you’ve really been miserable inside?

How many times have you replied to a message saying all is well and added a smiling emoji to reinforce the lie?

Yeah, I’m guilty of that one too.

If we met those friends face to face or spoke to them and actually heard their voices, would we pick up on the subtle signs that something might be amiss? If we spotted the signs, would we reach out to help them through whatever was troubling them?

I’ll leave that thought with you….. there’s no need to answer it.

About six weeks ago, I sat down to undertake the annual task of writing my Christmas cards to friends and family. Over the years, my friends have become scattered all over the globe. As I wrote one particular card, the thought crossed my mind that I hadn’t heard from that friend in a while. Neatly written (who am I kidding? My handwriting is a scrawling mess!) I sealed the card and added it to the pile to be posted.

Now, six weeks down the line, I don’t know if that card ever reached the address on the front of the envelope. I don’t know if it was ever opened by the addressee. I don’t know if it arrived too late.

My heart tells me it was never opened. 

As the quote says “Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them but you know they’re there.”

My post-script to that quote would be “Let the stars of your friendship shine bright and be filled with the love of light and the twinkling sound of laughter.”

 

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