Category Archives: Friends

4thJulyBlog

Happy In(ter)dependence Day

Perhaps you will attend a parade today or a block party or family barbecue. Interesting, isn’t it that all the activities we typically participate in to celebrate July 4 involve people?

For several years now I’ve wished we could rename this holiday and call it National Interdependence Day—seems, really, to describe the day more accurately. Those early settlers needed each other to draw up and execute their plan for a life in America.

When I think of the word independence, I think of a sturdy, determined two-year-old proclaiming, “Do it self!” But no single person among us is smart enough, strong enough, capable enough to do life alone. Maybe we know that deep-down and that explains, in part, why we celebrate Independence Day surrounded by others.

If you read my blog last week http://ow.ly/yK7n301UajB, you read my musings on playing second clarinet and friendship. I talked about the idea of playing a supporting role in friendship and letting others shine. I think I missed a piece of the puzzle, though, the idea of working together for the greater good of the whole no matter what your role—first clarinet or second clarinet. My clarinet-playing friend, Roberta, commented on the blog and beautifully explained this.

As you think this weekend about independence and interdependence, let me leave you with the wise words of my friend Roberta. (Oh, and she found a yearbook photo of us holding our clarinets—too funny!) And I also leave you with a short sentence that has become my favorite: “Let’s do it together.”

Roberta writes:

If given the choice, I, too, like to hide in the back. It was a challenge to be “first clarinet” sometimes. But it was so much fun to be a part of something “bigger,” like a “music team.” God calls us to use our talents to support each other, just like the Body of Christ. My favorite part of our musical journey was playing clarinet duets with you. Loved the harmony. We can challenge ourselves to be our best, whether it be in the lead or a supporting role. Together we are more than the sum of the individual parts. And I am glad that you had the opportunity and challenge to be first chair our senior year. You have grown and blossomed from the experience.

Thank you for your continued friendship!

Roberta

 1979 All State Band Roberta, Mike, Afton

FriendshipC

Friendship Starts with C

 

Yes, I do know how to spell. And, no, I’m not having a “senior moment.” But I did recently discover a fun list in a book (Friends of the Heart: Growing Friendships that Last Forever by Emilie Barnes and Donna Otto, p. 26) that connected friendship with the letter C. Just can’t resist sharing some of these C words with you.

Caring, Catalysts, Celebration, Cherished, Chocolate, Chumminess, Coffee,

Collegiality, Comfort,  Commonality, Communication, Concern, Connection,

Consistency, Continuity, Contribution, Counsel, Courtesy

Perhaps one of those words jumped off the page at you. I landed on the word collegiality. Word-nerd that I am, I love the way it sounds as it rolls off my tongue. And I love that I had to look up what it means because I don’t use it every day. Here is what I discovered from yourdictionary.com:

  1. the sharing of authority among colleagues
  2. the principle that authority is shared by the pope and the bishops
  3. considerate and respectful conduct among colleagues or an atmosphere, relationship, etc. characterized by this

I can’t pretend to have the expertise to address the authority shared by the pope and bishops, but I do want to muse a bit about the definition of the word collegiality as it relates to friendship. I must be all wrapped up in words because I immediately think of two of them that help clarify the meaning of collegiality by defining what it is NOT.

A collegial (considerate, respectful) relationship between friends seems to leave no room for another C word: Competitiveness.

Collegiality suggests, “Let’s build something, do something, together” rather than saying, “Let’s both do this and see who can do it faster and better.”

A collegial (considerate, respectful) relationship between friends also seems to leave no room for another C word: Control.

Collegiality suggests, “Let’s talk this through and come up with a solution we can both embrace” rather than saying, “You need to do this my way. It is the best way.”

Enough of the word-nerd musings. Let’s make this practical. What does collegiality look like in flesh-and-blood relationships?

I think back to my days of sitting at my mother’s bedside and watching her “700 friends” surround her in her last days on this earth. They did not need to prove who cared for her best. They did not demand to run the show and tell doctors and family what needed doing. They listened to Mom and tried to honor her desires. They listened to me and my brothers and tried to honor our wishes for mom in her dying days. They made dying a group effort—a beautiful, choreographed dance of sorts.

No wonder I’m drawn to that word: collegiality. I lived it.

Grateful!