This is an excerpt from a Meridian Magazine article (found here.)
"... I learned that friendships are not limited to like-age, like-economy, or like- circumstances. It is a wide open field. And woe unto us if we miss the blessings that could be ours from opening our hearts and our mouths. There may be friendships to enjoy even with those persons who don't “think like us”, “act like us”, or “speak like us.” There need be no boundaries in the business of building friendships…. even with those persons we have formerly had hard feelings toward. Although it may be harder to build the bridge of alliance with someone who has hurt us… even that is possible… and beautiful.
Whenever it is built upon righteousness, a friendship can grow. If we need to fertilize ourselves a bit, so that the seeds of camaraderie can better expand, then so be it. The investment in trying to understand Sister So-and-so or Mr. Such-and-such yields a harvest of gladness. In the meantime, we may better develop our ability to think more clearly, wipe away the cobwebs of negativity or finger pointing, and learn a lot more about ourselves and our neighbors."
What would our lives be like if we opened ourselves up to the many friendships that are out there waiting to be developed? What kind of garden do we want our lives to be? One with only one or two types of plants? Or one with a wide variety that gives us great satisfaction? In this day and age it's so easy to keep to ourselves, to find reasons why we won't greet someone new or take a chance in talking to someone we don't know well. But I think we lose out on a lot of what life is really about when we do this. Sometimes those who seem most unlike us turn out to be our best friends. And sometimes we're the friend someone else has been waiting for.