Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Friends You Choose

Earlier this week my telephone rang. I looked at my caller id and it said “Abbey of Gethsemani”. That doesn’t happen every day. I answered the phone and it was one of the monks. He told me that he and another monk would be in Louisville on business and they wondered if I would be available for lunch. Fortunately my calendar was open so I eagerly accepted the invitation. I’m sure some of you are wondering what it would be like to eat lunch with a couple of monks. One of them isn't too much older than me and we have similar personalities. The other one is in his late 80’s. Don’t let his age fool you. He uses a walker but his mind is sharp as a tack. I have to be on my toes to keep up with him. This aged monk actually interviewed me almost 40 years ago when I was a young, single, spiritual seeker who wanted to live in the monastery. Even though they have both been monks for a very long time, our lunch was not overly serious. We discussed some serious topics but we also laughed a lot. I love it that I have a diverse circle of friends. My mother used to say that “you are what you hang with.” Throughout my life I have always tried to hang with good people. I have tried to surround myself with intelligent, educated, sensitive, and artistic people. I have also tried to surround myself with positive thinkers, people who laugh a lot, music freaks, and a few party animals so I don’t stay too serious. I have been influenced by all of them in a variety of ways. Choose your friends wisely.

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