Today I picked up my daughter from a 5-day, day camp in Washington state. When she went to camp last monday she didn’t know a single person, by today’s pickup she had about 6 phone numbers written in sharpie (much to my disliking) all over her arms and hands.
These were the phone numbers and emails of her new friends. In less than 40 hours, while kayaking, riding horses, swimming, dancing and general camp type activities, my 10 year old made friends. These friends vowed to call each other as soon as they were home, just hours from saying goodbye today and I can tell you, they did.
It got me thinking about how easily children make friends no matter the setting, and no matter really the age. At least from my viewpoint, my daughter Liv has always had the ability to be friendly and welcoming from the time she was very little until now at age 10.
How many times have you been at a business networking event or a social party and you don’t leave with 6 new friends? And these venues supposedly are the perfect venues for making new acquaintances or in other words friends. I would say it wouldn’t be hard to believe that most of us don’t make even one new friend or any “friends to be” at most of these events.
Is this good, or is this bad. I’m here to say it is bad. For many reasons but the one I want to stress is this.
When you open yourself up to new friends entering your life, you open yourself up for self examination. This examination might come from this new friends observation of who you are, or at minimum a new person in your life requires that you explain who you are, what your values are and basically why you do what you do in this life.
So the value in bringing new people in your life is that it may force you to examine your life in its current state when perhaps the last time you looked in the mirror was long ago.
I hope to be more like my daughter and I subscribe to the idea that I don’t think a person can have enough friends!