I used to lose friends the same way I would lose car keys. They would somehow be misplaced. Of course, with car keys I go through a ritual to look for them -- my night table, the jacket I wore yesterday, my pants in the laundry, the junk drawer, my wife's purse. And then I circle through the same places again, thinking I didn't look hard enough.
The difference, of course, is that eventually my car keys turn up -- they have to. I have to look harder, if at all, for lost friends or I rely on serendipity or I give up. But what does it cost to lose them and what does it cost to find them?
Well, we often don't even notice when we lose them that we've lost something valuable. I know that's callous, but the notion of moving on or starting new is endemic to our culture. "Stay in touch" we might say, but gone is gone -- even email addresses change.
We do have ways now of reclaiming old friends (though women often change their last names) and some of those 'find someone' web sites can be useful. But we largely remain unaware that we have lost something valuable when we lose friends. I know this because I know how I feel when an old friend suddenly turns up.
The other day, a friend of mine discovered that two of his clients were old friends of mine. Because of him I called them (they're reading this) and we will get together. I had mused about them from time to time over the years but, strangely enough, I didn't realize that I missed them until we spoke and all the good things about them came flashing back.
It pays to stay connected and whatever small effort is required to keep that connection alive, no relationship is worth disappearing.
Copyright '2005 Michael Lipp
About Michael: Michael Lipp is a Relationship Coach and an activist in the world. He is on the boards of Events to Empower Humanity, the Global Abundance Alliance, Partners in Ending Hunger and Curbing Hunger. He is committed to a world of love, contribution and sufficiency, immensely valuable with a family of wife, 6 children and 6 grandchildren.