Friendship: Understanding our Differences Equals Peace

We have noted previously that we are going to have differences in our relationships.  They will range from likes and dislikes, to skills, food, holiday’s we might celebrate, and culture of families.  While some like to use the word tolerance when dealing with differences, I prefer to think about the possibilities of ‘understanding’ the differences and then being able to  accept, try and celebrate those differences.

If we take a simple example of one person who is talented in a skill, whether it is a sport, craft, writing, math or whatever it might be, how do we react to that?  Rather than resent the skill they have that we may not have, it would be better to celebrate it with them and give them a “good job’.

Being open-minded about differences in food or culture, could we not embrace it and try it for ourselves, rather than reject it because it is not our norm.  Have you ever tried foods from a different culture?  Have you ever embraced a culture and tried things their way?  If we do not understand what they do or why, would it not be better to ask about it and try to ‘understand’ it?

I once thought about writing a book of comparisons of cultures, religions, holidays, food and activities, because the more I read and experienced the similar I found that all of are.  When approached with an open mind you will find that we have more things that are the same than we do differences.  That results not just in friendship but in PEACE.

Friendship: How to be loyal

When it comes to our friends we rely on the fact or hope that our friends will be loyal.  When we talk about loyally we really mean that we want to feel safe with that person, knowing that when we confide in them that our confidence will be kept and that when needed they will be there to stick up for us and when things get tough they will be there for us.

But with children we need to teach both sides of loyalty.  Children need to know that keeping a secret is part of loyalty unless the person is planning to do something dangerous or unfair to himself or another person.  So how do we teach that, what are the rules that they can follow to keep everyone safe.

The question we are teaching our students to ask themselves when faced with the dilemma of whether to keep a secret or not is:  Is this going to hurt my friend or someone else? If they can learn to answer that question honestly they will know if they should make the secret known to mom and dad or an adult or if they can keep it secret.  Loyalty to a friend means doing everything in the best interest of your friend.