Of course I am behind, lately, when aren’t I? but this project is still important to me and thus I am compelled to complete each one. For June, Raili asked us to consider The Big Picture with Friendship. She said:
This month in Circle of Friends I invite you to consider The Big Picture of friendship – the creation of a circle of friends that spans the world and transcends human foibles and pettiness. I know, I know – that seems a big order! Especially in the current climate of prejudice and fear. However, as the saying goes, nothing changes if you don’t change what you do. SO let’s create some change!
Draw from this exercise that which resonates with you. Carve your slice. Garnish it with your words, images, wisdom. Consider creating a friendship that truly takes into account The Big Picture within your Little Picture.
I admit, I began thinking about this over a week ago. I wasn’t sure how to approach it or what to say. I live in a fairly microcosmic world. I have only a few close friends locally and pretty much stick to myself as a general rule. Some of it is that I am an introvert, but that isn’t all of it. My mental illness prevents me from making close friendships and at times, even interacting with my own family. I know how bad I am when I have “flair-ups” and I don’t wish to inflict myself upon friends and family. It has become a defense mechanism to keep others at bay. More for their protection against me than for my own self-preservation.
Although my personal life is microcosmic, my world view is very much macrocosmic. My beliefs and values encourage me to be an inclusive person, not an exclusive person. I make it my goal in life to embrace those who are different than I am. So long as there is no hatred, prejudice or discrimination involved, I embrace people of other races, faiths, cultures and ideologies. Unfortunately, I do have little tolerance for racism, bigotry and discrimination, which may be one of my faults. It’s difficult to say that I am an inclusive person and still have exclusions to my world view. Somehow, it makes me feel a bit of a hypocrite. The only way I can resolve this inner conflict is to study racists and bigots and try to understand them from their standpoint. I find that I can understand them, but I still have a problem embracing their attitudes.
I have found the internet especially helpful in forming a macrocosmic world for myself. Social media allows me to interact with people all across the world, to learn about them, understand them, and embrace them. WordPress has given me friendships all across the globe – multiple places in the US, Canada, the UK, India, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and on and on. These friendships have become important to me. Even as I have been on my own journey for the last month and a half, I have missed these friendships and I am fighting to get back into the macrocosmic world that allows me to be with these wonderful people I’ve met.
I am not sure I came even close to what Raili proposed for this Bigger Picture theme, but these are the thoughts that came to me as I reflected on her proposal.