Pleased to make your aquaintance

I think sometimes we write off relationships because they don't progress from acquaintance to friendship. I have done this myself; now I realize that is a mistake.

With acquaintances, we need to remember that there can be joy in these relationships just as they are. An acquaintance-relationship allows us to reach beyond our typical friendship borders, to spend time with people who we would not ordinarily get to know. We may be acquaintances with people we work with, with parents of our children's friends, with friends of friends. These relationships may not rise to the level of friendships but they are still special. They allow us to meet with and join with others in relationships that are lighter. They allow us a "time out" of the daily grind, to discuss issues we have in common, to discuss nothing at all. We should not discount the value of these relationships simply because they are not deep friendships. We should not set ourselves up for disappointment in wanting too much from our acquaintances; we should cherish them for what they give us and not focus on what they lack.

Our lives are richer for having true friends but our lives are also beautifully colored by our acquaintances. We should try to embrace all the people who enter our lives for what they teach us, for what they help us see and feel and love. Friend or not, we can still learn and grow and be grateful for that other person.

This is the life.

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