A friend wrote to me recently, and talked about the notion of being like a politician, or a sycophant and only wanting comments about my writing from those who agreed with my opinion, or showed their approval for me. Whilst it took me some time to even understand what she meant, this comment nailed it, “That is what I mean about being surrounded by sycophants – I do not want only to be told “Oh I love your work” so that I feel good! If someone likes it – great, but why? And if they don’t – fair enough, but why?” Like this friend, who is an artist, I don’t only want to be surrounded by people who say they love my writing or ideas, as I also revel in hearing from those who seek to make me think about things in new ways, or who completely disagree with a point of view I have expressed. But I guess the thing I’ve been thinking about in the last couple of weeks since my father in law has died, is that we become friends with like-minded people, people whose company we enjoy, and who don’t necessarily agree with us all the time, nor we with them, but people with whom we love and respect and who can agree to disagree without it destroying the friendship. We hang out with people we like and love, and who like or love us. People hang out in clubs, with people who may be very different, but who have at least one similar interest. That is normal. Of course I love the praise I receive on my blog, and this last couple of weeks it has really helped me ‘feel the love’ I have really needed as a human being during this time of loss and grief and I thank you for it.
Ps. Here is a link to a wonderful story of love written by someone caring for their father with dementia. http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health+healing/news+features/my+dads+dementia+changed+my+life,18069
Pss. I should have made it clear my friend was not being mean in our ‘conversations’ about sycophants, just wanting me to think about things, and I love her comments, the devils advocates one, the loving ones, and all the others. xo