I had a friend come over yesterday and we got into a discussion about someone she had met recently. She said he was fantastic. They’d been going round in circles for a while but he was worth it because he was a rare gem. I wondered about that.
What’s the yardstick we use to measure a person’s worth? In my lifetime, which hasn’t been all that long, I have had the absolute pleasure of meeting the most fascinating people. There have been philosophers, singers, connectors, hermits, thinkers, poets, athletes, vacillators, partiers, day dreamers, visionaries, irrits, flyers, hoarders, mediators, brats, gossips, goblins, sour grapes, wayayawas, bandits, princesses, hobos, “bourgeoisies” villageois, ekses/exes/yo ballies, chickens, and or course, skunks. Another friend of mind introduced me to a species of humans I had not encountered before until recenlty: The raccoons, possums, and bunnies (which by her definition, I fall under).
The list is an endless one in reality but each person has had something really special about them. I wasn’t friends with all of the above but I was able to see something of value in at least more than half of them. Not necessarily something of value to me, just some value. Sometimes it was something I could pick up in person and other times, it was something over the phone or even online.
I’ll give the recent example of someone I had the pleasure of getting in touch with over the phone. For most of us born in the 80′ and 90’s, I would say that the person struck me as “a jock” initially but then when he got me laughing within a minute of the phone call I realised he was just a clown. I remember thinking to myself “This one is my buddy.”
I usually rely on the first few minutes of meeting with someone to determine how the relationship may go (I suppose first impressions really are lasting) and what I have discovered is that what will hold us together is usually our values. I think that our character is shaped by our values and when values clash, that’s usually the breakdown of the relationship. It’s easy to work around a bad temper, or bad habit but values like belief in monogamy, vaccinations, and education, are a lot more difficult and leave little room for compromise for the people involved.
The other thing to consider is, how quickly should you be able to make a connection? I don’t mean in a romantic way. I mean just “clicking” with someone and deciding that they would make a good gym buddy, study buddy, or workmate. Does the principle of money apply here? It comes as quickly as it goes? The relationship will end as quickly as it started? I’m not entirely sure. I think that one depends. I met a goblin that misrepresented himself and claimed to be a free spirit when in fact he was just a just goblin. I also had the displeasure of encountering a goonie with the mistaken belief that she was a lollipop. It goes without saying that neither of those two resulted in an everlasting friendship but that’s because we had different values-different. A different way of seeing things. My goblin is another person’s best friend. My goonie is another persons fairy tale come true. I met a skunk once. This is our seventh year. We even spoke on the phone just this morning.
So what’s the rarity factor then? What makes us look at people and decide they they are really special? Different from others? I don’t think there’s anything in that cauldron besides us seeing exactly what we want to see and what that the person chooses to show. If I know that most people in Zambia don’t appreciate classical music, but there are a select few that do, AND I play the cello AND I’m in an orchestra? That’s worth a standing ovation for that elite group and everybody else. It’s all about who knows how to play the cards really. The major difference is who is’t afraid to bring their A game not matter what people say. I say that because the fact that we are different people means that we each have something different to bring to the table.
Here’s something to think about. People are different but the same. Are you the same as everyone else in being different or are you different “different”? Are you someone that people can let go of because you are easy to replace since there there are countless “copies” of you available, or are you a limited edition? Just something to think about.