People-Investment

Mat and I were in his hometown this weekend. He’s from a very small town, and so he grew up with all the guys he is still friends with. When we drive through, all the houses have stories. At Tim Hortons, we say hello to every second person. Having gone to a total of eleven schools in my life, this type of experience is foreign to me but extremely welcome. Going home to Mat’s is almost a small substitute to my fractioned (yet wonderful) childhood.

We visited Mat’s friend Chris and his wife on Saturday night. There is a sense of ease around Mat’s friends – or at least an ease between them – that I cannot articulate but I realize it is what I strive for in friendship. It’s a sense of investment. That these people are invested in you, and you are invested in them. It is a sense of long-term, whole-hearted, unconditional investment.

This thing I’m calling investment is rarely encountered in my life. When I see it, and feel it, I make room to take care of it and appreciate it. But on a day-to-day basis, rarely do I get invested; rarely do people invest. At least not to the extent that makes me feel truly comfortable and grounded. What is it that creates for an environment of investment?

The idea of investment in people is not far from any major question in my life. International health. Personal health. Doctor-patient relationships. Personal relationships. They all require true investment to be ‘successful’. Yet we are not in a culture that promotes or facilitates that type of longevity or commitment, let alone the sense of un-conditionality. Instead, we promote separateness, individuality, independence, and the ‘short-term’ ‘quick-fix’. Is this a sustainable way to live? Does it make us feel better? Does it make life easier? Has it just become our natural and inadvertent way of being?

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~ by kcanderson on October 22, 2007.

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