“…your friends are my friends
And my friends are your friends
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.”
The song jumped into my head the morning of November 8th, I think from a commercial playing in the background. I soon noticed it was one of those songs that sticks in your head, you wish would leave but it keeps nagging (like most Cyndi Lauper songs); and it continued as I saw the first scenes from the killings at the bar in Thousand Oaks, California. Those people had planned to get together and be happy. Then I thought about the killings at the nightclub in Florida, and the school in Parkland, Florida, and the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
People getting together, leading to unhappiness. Maybe the song’s out of date; the melody dates back to 1679, and two Brits claimed writing the lyrics in 1926. Nowadays, maybe we’re better off staying home where it’s safe and connecting to the world through social media. Besides, we have access to so many more friends online which we can customize by race, political views, religion, whatever suits our preferences. (Full disclosure to my Sooner friends: I have a number of Longhorn friends on Facebook and they’re great, just misguided). We can even shop and go out to eat without leaving our homes thanks to delivery services.
But this is Still Thankful, with the ultimate goal of providing support to “medical families” with a child in the hospital. What does getting together - or staying apart - have to do with helping medical families?
During our first heart transplant in 1995, relationships were different than they are today. Technology has done much to change our relationships and has actually damaged the one-on-one connection that medical families need (in controlled doses). More on that in the next blog, because “getting together” deserves special attention here.
That evening of the 8th, Valerie and I attended the US India Chamber of Commerce banquet with over seven-hundred others, and I thought how fitting, given what happened less than twenty-four hours earlier. Seven-hundred gathered together, and the happier we were.
Don’t let a few broken people scare you away from getting together. Quite the opposite; seek out ways to get together, not to demonstrate, but to celebrate. There are many more good people who need your presence, and you need theirs.
For getting together, I’m Still Thankful.