How to Make A Friend (Before They Run Away) According To Walter


How to Make A Friend (Before They Run Away) According To Walter

Imagine lining up with all the snazzy, suave, and avantgarde people you know.

As you wait in the line, feeling rather itchy because you don’t have quite the right clothes on, prospective friends saunter up, blowing bubble gum and thumbing their phones. They look up once to give you a once-over, ask you a loaded question, like “What do you do?” and move on if you don’t have a 30 second blurb about becoming a doctor or having three violin prodigies at home. You, however, are brave, and forge on by blathering about your small hometown and well-meaning dog, and “my isn’t it a nice day?”

However, it is not a nice day in this scenario, because on this day, you don’t get a friend. You get a heaping dish of icky feelings, sprinkled with a dash of guilt that you should have known better than to try to play nice and make friends.

Standing in this hypothetical friend line–aka the gauntlet of shame–is exactly like being a book on a shelf. I’ve thought all these thoughts, sitting squished between classics and bestsellers:

Will they pick me? Do they like my cover? Will they actually think I’m worthy of selecting and spending time with me? Do I have a viable standing in the market of friends? What are the top trends these days, anyway?

It’s exhausting, and a little soul-numbing.

But when a child walks by a shelf, one who hasn’t grown up yet, who reads books because they are bosom companions, not blockbusters, these books can hardly sit still. They jump into the child’s arms and experience the warmth and wonder of their jumbled and bashful reading. This child will circle back as an adult and reread those blessed books, making them feel like a classic–because they are timeless friends to the adult child. .

If you want to befriend people, read them the way a child reads a book.

With wonder: There’s only one of them in the entire world!


With enthusiasm:
They’re right here with me!

With belief: I get to hear what they have in their heart. I believe they can say it!

With gusto: I can’t wait to hear them say it!

With loyalty: I will wait until they can say it and will listen again and again!

With honesty: And I will tell them when it doesn’t make sense or ring true. And when it does ring out, loud and clear and beautiful, I will tell them I hear you and that I’m the luckiest friend to have been here all along the way.

    Um...you haven’t run away yet (which is odd), and I’ve waited this long to ask, because I wasn’t sure what you’d say. Will you be my friend? I’d turn page over page for you, til the end of the world.

    With bated breath,

    Walter






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