Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude remains the sole focus in my writing, which for today is for being able to have a friendship today with someone that is mostly the opposite of me.
I used to think that having a good friendship meant the person had to be just like me or quite similar to me. But honestly, I’ve learned that can be quite boring at times when that is true. Contrary to that, one of the biggest rewards I’ve found when it comes to friendships is when I challenge myself to look beyond my ego and what it thinks it needs when it comes to a friend, which is very true when it comes to a friend of mine named Rob.
While he and I do share a common interest with superhero-type stuff, chiefly Marvel, and a few of the same type of foods, much of the similarities stop there. Beyond a glaring fact that he is heterosexual, which I of course am not, he’s mostly atheist to agnostic, while I’m more of a man of faith, is relatively political, whereas I detest politics, believes and swears in the power of science and medicine, something of which I tend to avoid these days, and well you get the point.
At first glance, to an ego like the one I continue to try to smash within me, it might seem like he and I wouldn’t stand a chance to have any type of healthy, let alone fun friendship, but ironically, we do. We tend to laugh a lot when we hang out and click far better than what my ego initially judged. The level of Rob’s compassion is second to none, as is his tendency to listen with the hopes of understanding, rather than judging. I’ve come to learn quite a bit in spending time with Rob and lately, on most of our hangouts, I’m even watching a show now that I originally didn’t want to give a chance, that being Star Trek Discovery on Paramount Plus. It actually is really good and I am enjoying watching it with him immensely, especially in all the little jokes we make during each episode.
Because of my growing friendship with Rob, I’ve thought quite a bit lately about how many potential friendships I’ve never even given a chance throughout my life with people who didn’t act, or look, or like what I thought I’d need to have a good connection. Sadly, I was very superficial in much of my younger years, hanging only with people who shared my views or likes or were my physical type, thinking that’s what was important. It wasn’t, as some of the best moments in my life have come by going against the grain of that and with Rob, I’m glad I did.
While he continues to challenge me at times, like I do with him, there has been incredible spiritual growth on both of our parts in spending time with each other cultivating our connection. I tend to think that’s precisely what God would want for us in this world, to make friends not only with those who are similar to us, but also, and especially with those who seem exactly the opposite of us. Because in the end, I believe we become far more well-rounded individuals when we do, learning to love and accept much that is outside our norm and different than us.
I’m truly grateful for giving Rob a chance and am so thankful to God for bringing him into my life to teach me not just a few lessons, but many.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson