“Friends, friends, friends, we will always be …” is one of the first songs taught when girls join a Girl Scout troop.
A friend can be a buddy, companion, acquaintance, confidante or a little bit of each. Ask ten people to give a definition of a friend and you’ll get a variety of responses. In our world today a friend is someone who can post on your Facebook page. They may not even be people you know but a friend of a friend who has entered your world without permission.
Our parents usually introduce us to our first friends. They place us in situations where we’re with their friends’ children. Without words, we manage to gravitate towards the one or two that we share some unspoken “something” with. Then comes preschool, camp, school, scouts, sports, art class, music and any combination of activities that provide a pool of possible friends. What’s amazing is as adults, we still keep in touch with some of those friends we made years ago.
Our friendship pool broadens year by year; we go off to college, start working in our chosen field and repeat the cycle with our children. Friends are important. They keep us from being isolated. They keep us grounded in the present. There are industries built on this premise; ask the card manufacturers.
We’ve all watched television shows, read articles and books telling us how to make changes in our lives. Bookstore shelves are filled with self-help books that promise “the answer” to whatever problem we have. Large sections are dedicated to the best and latest diet program anyone would need. Occasionally we hear about someone who started and finished college in their 80’s or began an exercise program that led them to the Senior Olympics. It’s not too newsworthy however for a publication to write about Jim or Jane who veered off the path they were on to make a positive change in their personal life’s direction.
Haven’t read anything about the woman or man, for that matter, who used every ounce of strength and courage to walk through the fear of leaving an abuse marriage and start a new life. Haven’t read about the person who never thought they were smart enough to go to college but walked towards the dream of a degree and teaching children at a time in life that shocked family and friends. And then there is the person who retired from a job, happy to never set an alarm clock for work, who was suddenly faced with so much time on their hands unconscious overeating or drinking started to fill the hours in a day. Okay, I may have made up the scenarios and exaggerated a little, but I’d put money on it that they are happening every day to women and men in cities around our country.
What comes to mind when you hear the name of a song? I was talking with a close friend the other day about a life issue she was working on. Woven into our discussion was the title or lyrics of a few songs.
It made me think about the songs I’ve obsessively listened to in the past or the ones I listen to now when certain feelings surface or situations present themselves. The theme from the movie Rocky was number one of my personal favorites when I was dealing with major health crises. When Alabama introduced the song there are angels among us, I immediately fell in love with the words and the melody. I play the song often as a continuous reminder that angels pop up exactly when we need them if we pay attention.
The discussion with my friend made me think about all the music that’s available to us today. There are so many genres ranging from Gospel to Rap. There are radio stations that play what they call the oldies; music from the 60’s and 70’s. Others play country music, religious uplifting music, opera and music from the 30’s and 40’s. The list goes on.