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View From the Rear Window

Live a Life of Purposefulness

Writer  /  Andy Murphy

We had something in common. As a group, we were all over 55 with big and little dogs at our feet and something else — we were strangers to each other on a walking path.

It is a wonder to me every time I meet complete strangers how easy conversation flows when we have our furry creatures as a basis of opening a conversation.

We walked together for a little while before heading off in different directions. A small bond was indeed in place that left a hope in my heart I would see them again. As I walked on with little Charlie, I thought how the world is so hectic and fast paced.

But when you have your pups on a leash, and they stop at every pole to “mark” their own scent, time slows down. When you walk with these little animals, conversations are not necessary. No expectations are required. The needs of stress evaporate, calming the streaming pattern of thoughts we deal with way too much.

The fact that you are together, out in the fresh air doing something so small as walking, is all that matters.

I believe it takes a long time to create a long-term human friendship. I know someone that calls everyone they meet at 1:00 p.m. a “good friend” by 1:15 pm. I contemplate on this reflection a great deal these days. What is the real foundation of calling someone a friend? There is much pressure, especially on social media, to boast about how many friends you have.

A strong presence of so called friends in a column is easy to gain on Facebook by simply going through and asking people to confirm you as a friend, even if you have never met them.

A real friend to me is someone I value and respect. A good friend shares many things in common but, at the same time, brings a somewhat different perspective to each conversation shared. A friend can change my mind without hurting my feelings.

It takes time to explore the wonder of acquiring good friends and to appreciate those times together laughing, crying or just being silent in the moment.

Silence refreshes your soul and releases the tightness of stress. Sharing that kind of moment with another person feels natural — a bond you share that comes within a friendship.

But on this day, strangers gathered on a walking path that I might never see again. It was a meaningful experience cherished in real time. We all need more of this kind of time.

Live a life of purposefulness!

About J. Andy Murphy

J. Andy Murphy is a published author and works as a literary agent for regional writers. She serves as the Executive Director of the WriteStuff Writers Workships & Conferences.

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