Posts Tagged ‘friends’



A Relationship Reward Worth The Risk

Nothing great happens without risk. That’s true about our relationships as well. I’m not sure it’s a byproduct of maturity, personality, the fact I’m from another culture, or a combination of all of it, but I have found myself taking more risks in my relationships lately. The response has been worth the risk. It’s easier and safer to walk alongside my male friends while keeping the relationship on a shallow, trivial level. We men are great at that. We can talk about sports, work, training, and our troubles with women all day long. As a matter of fact, we can spend time with someone for years and never really know them. The American male relational protocol perpetuates this mindset: keep it interesting, keep it light, and keep surface. Introspection, after all, is the stuff of the other gender; the one we do not understand. I believe we all need to…

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My New Stranger Strategy

What would it happen if I made a habit of walking up to a complete strangers and introducing myself? In the past few months I have tried to be intentional about doing just that.  I have done it in airports, at the gym, and restaurants. I had no idea of what to expect. Would people be annoyed? Would they look at me with the you-are-creeping-me-out stare? Would they dismiss or ignore me? Not really. People’s reactions have surprised me.  The great majority of people seem genuinely glad to have a brief personal dialogue with a perfect stranger. I believe human beings are created to be part of a shared existence, part of community. It’s easy to be in the middle of a room filled with people and to be alone, go to work everyday and not connect with anyone, walk around a large gym, see the same people for months…

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A Promise to My Friends

A life well lived happens in the context of relationships. I’m convinced of that. God designed humans to be in community with one another. That’s why food tastes better when shared with friends and a beautiful sunset experienced with a loved one stays with you forever. But successful marriages, partnerships, or friendships need attention and even what I call “relational promises.” These set of values or promises help me frame my commitment to family and friends in a way that holds me accountable to my end of the relationship. One of the most important promises I make my friends is to always give them the benefit of the doubt. A true friend will defend, uphold and protect publicly, but question privately. We all have been there–during a conversation a salient tidbit of gossip comes up about a friend who’s not present. Sometimes it’s an accusation by someone who’s been hurt.…

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Not All Blessings Are Created Equal

I didn’t grow up with thanksgiving day as a holiday. Christmas season in Brazil officially begins sometime in early November and goes on until January 6, Kings’ Day. Yes, that’s traditionally the day the Catholic church celebrates the Magi arriving in Bethlehem. But growing up,  Thanksgiving day celebration was relegated to a couple of children’s choirs singing at a local mall and a blip on the news. Brazilians are missing out, and as I stopped to take inventory of all my blessings today, something stood out on my list. This morning I joined several friends early and ran the Boulevard Bolt, a 5-mile race through Belle Meade Boulevard, my familiar running route. I rushed home and cooked a 22 lb turkey, 12 lbs of mash potato and lots of other goodies to celebrate with family and friends from far and near. As I prayed before the bounteous, tryptophan-laden and coma-inducing…

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