New Friendships

School has started and all the grandkids are back in their respective educational environments. New schedules are starting, new classes are developing and new friendships are forming. In high school, it is all very exciting and a little stressful.

Starting all-new and unknown things is always a bit stressful. You don’t know what to expect or how to be prepared exactly. It keeps you on your toes, for sure. A new school year is just like that.

All of my grands are old enough to manage their schedules, get themselves up and off to school on time. That is a great start. Mom sure appreciates that ability.

They have all chosen their classes for this semester and can certainly get from class to class and manage their schedule for the week. All are capable of dealing with time well enough to get their school work done, fit in band practice, and a couple of them even have part-time jobs this year.

The new friendships, however, are quite surprising and somewhat exciting. One grandchild has befriended a second generation Asian teenager, one is friends with a boy named Hussein and one with a transgender boy named Katie.

Can I tell you how proud I am of my grandchildren? They are free of bias. They are inclusive. They do not judge others by their “outsides.” They are setting great examples for their peers. They are going to learn so much about really loving people.

In these times of division and hatred, these kids are learning and teaching acceptance and tolerance. I am amazed they are so aware of this at such a young age, when I know people four and five times their age who are ignorant of it.

A variety of friendships is vital to having a well-rounded, strong village. How boring would it be if all our buddies looked and acted just like us? We would learn nothing, go nowhere, be little.

The key to growth and strength in nature is diversity. The same is true in our lives. We don’t thrive as a village where everyone agrees with us, looks like us and dresses like us. We need new ideas, different thoughts, amazing contrast and brilliant extremes. We need people who think outside the lines, who have second thoughts, who think with their hands, who think on their feet, who don’t think at all.

My grandchildren know this. They already have a colorful village surrounding them and they will only get more so as they grow older. Good, strong, diverse friendships are necessary. They are fun. They are life-affirming.


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