I must be getting older. It feels like the world I knew is changing right before my eyes. I imagine that is how every generation feels as they age. There have been both good and bad changes. Some have been necessary but some have come with decline.
I graduated from college in 2002 without a computer. I actually typed my papers. When I began my professional career in 2004, secretaries were still typing to dictation for a few of the old-timers at work. That same year, we got laptops. In 2007, we went online for reporting. In 2011, machines were brought in that we had to learn to use. By 2014, I was struggling to keep up.
I had to learn texting, social media and new gadgets. I recently found out that CDs are old. Since when? Now I have to upload my music! What happened to when we just answered a real phone and hand wrote a letter?
Customer service even seems to be a bygone. I went to a bead store that charged to wait on you. I walked right back out. Tips used to be for exceptional service. Now, they are expected.
Today, you can talk to someone but it may cost you. Granted, some counseling services are vital but now, people are charging big bucks for spiritual direction, life coaching and therapy. How many of these people know you inside and out or even care once the session is over or you cannot pay them?
Your best resource are your friends if they are good ones. You only need one. You’re blessed if you have more.
Chances are, your childhood or long-term friends know you as well as they know themselves. They would never charge a fee to talk or listen. They don’t judge, only give advice if they see you in harm’s way and love you in spite of your flaws. You do the same for them.
I’ve loved watching God at work in the lives of both my childhood friend and myself. Each time we talk, it is confirmed. Neither of us are perfect but we get more out of our conversations than any fee from a stranger could provide.
I’ve been trained in reflective listening and understand the purpose but I personally hate it when it is being used on me. I recognize it the second I hear it. I would much rather be with a friend who totally gets it.
One of the best out pours of love from a young woman at church once was when she showed up at my door with a huge basket of chocolate. She said, “I know you and this is a chocolate moment.” I said, “Oh, you’re good!”. That’s what I’m talking about.