When I was reading the most recent blog from Sherry, and thinking about her questions, it made me think of my experiences that developed through a ‘Secret Sister’ program, both in our church and in our kids’ school. Everyone who wanted to participate would write their name on a piece of paper, fold it at least a couple of times, and place it in some sort of container. Next, the container was passed around and everyone in turn would close their eyes or reach in the container that was held high above their head, to pull out a piece of paper. If you pulled out your own name, you returned it and selected another one. For the following year, we secretly investigated the person to learn her likes and dislikes, her birthday, and her favorite “anything”. We would send encouraging notes, a birthday card, get well cards, and occasionally a “just because” gift … anything to let her know that she was special. It was all very secretive, being very careful not to include anything that would give her a clue as to the identity of her “Secret Sister”. This ‘exercise’ terminated with a banquet, when we finally we able to introduce ourselves to our ‘sister’. I am still in touch with several of them.
We were also introduced to the concept of ‘Pen Pals’ when we were in school, writing letters and sending pictures to someone in another country. There are so many stories of ‘pen pals’ finally meeting face to face, even in their senior years. Their deep friendships began with an introductory letter.
The same experience can happen in Social Media, if we are open to it. It won’t happen if they keep their page ‘blocked’ to anyone who isn’t a friend. I will never forget the feeling that I had when a lady on my NOTH list of friends, who had been reading my postings of our travel experiences in eastern U.S., sent me a message to tell me that we were near her town, and if we had time, please stop in for a cup of tea and a chat face to face. The only thing she knew about me was that I live in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, I am about the same age as she, and my given name is Mona. That could be a whole lot of people… but she still invited me. Unfortunately, our schedule didn’t make time for the visit, but I was so touched by the offer.
I have friends on NOTH from a number of countries I have never visited, and even though several have become much less active on The Hill due to personal reasons, we are still exchanging private messages. It feels like a sister that I never had, and we learn through time that we have more things in common. Can you imagine what it would be like if we hadn’t been honest in our initial contact? We would always be concerned that our stories matched.
By the way, I have also met some very nice guys here on The Hill, and have journeyed with them through some fun and tough times. I never had a brother either, so thanks for being my friend.
Tags: Friendship Honesty