Frogs amongst friends
16 February, 2012
Frogs amongst friends

In my quest to socialize with like-minded people I have had to foray into many different social gatherings. Like the old saying goes, in order to find a prince one must kiss many frogs. I have never understood that concept when it was applied to dating, because after all one doesn’t need to kiss every frog that turns up to figure out that he is not the right kind of frog. But the concept might apply rather well to a much-needed search for a friend. Granted no one needs to kiss friends to figure out if they are truly a pal, chum or a buddy (unless you like that sort of thing, and then it’s a different kind of ‘friendship’ all together) but it does make sense to have to talk to quite a few different sorts before you can find the people you like and wouldn’t mind spending time with. Unless one is lucky and has providence putting the right people in his or her path, finding and keeping friends can be very tricky. By age of thirty, most people have already met their ‘true’ and ‘tested’ friends. Some of us though continue to be relentlessly greedy and seek friends wherever we go.

In my search for kinship in Atlanta I have ventured out to many different social events. I have even attended Georgian (country not State) social gatherings. An oxymoron I agree, but here we are nonetheless. And of course it was inevitable that in my escapades I would come across those with whom I disagree not only on political levels but on personal ones as well. There are people after all one cannot get along with. They might be quite lovely people, but the ideology they stand behind will never let them be flexible to what other might want. And vice versa, there are principles (yes I do have those) that I would not be able to abandon for any kind of friendship. Do understand that in no way do I advocate violence against people who disagree with you, but in our culture as I was recently reminded, if you get verbally assaulted and you don’t respond correspondingly, you will be labeled as a spineless coward. The ‘turn your other cheek’ portion of the Bible teaching has not yet penetrated our brains. This plays out rather splendidly when it comes to politics; family vs family, friend vs friend, Vake vs Vera, and so on. The passionate way each group defends their chosen point would be admirable if they were Roman or Greek orators, but no one of the people doing the fighting actually work for either of the point people there are so enthusiastically defending. I do understand that people everywhere are passionate about their ideals. Take the US for example: there are right wing anti abortionists, and left wing pro-choice activists. There are democrats who love to spend taxpayers money on social programs like health insurance that no one wants, and there are republicans who squeeze the last dying breath out of a patient and blame him for dying in the first place. There are people who believe in Immaculate Conception and then there are people who are recreating the Big Bang in a lab. There are those who like Madonna, and those who hate her. These differences, even the smallest and pettiest ones create barriers for friendship.

In my latest attempt at creating a social connection with another Georgian person, I suggested a project that in my mind would benefit all Georgians living in Atlanta. This person turned out to be a good thinker when it came to ideas for my project, but I almost didn’t get a chance to hear his ideas. His first question to me was if I was a government employee and if not then which man stood behind this idea. No, I didn’t punch him between his eyes, but I considered dropping the whole matter all together. I never ask people their political affiliations or their religious beliefs because I don’t think it should influence our interactions, but not everyone is like me so I decided to give him a chance and turned my other cheek. And it is a good thing I did, because at thirty something my fighting capabilities have become almost nonexistent. And even though this person and I probably won’t ever be best of friends, the whole exchange only encourage me to continue talking to the rest of the frogs. Ribbet, ribbet.