I’m giving my first Stanford lecture tomorrow. For CS 154, because the professor is out of town. Actually, I’m only giving half the lecture, but it’s still a momentous time.
Eddie was in town this weekend. I’ve thought about friendships a lot, and how I’m pretty much a terrible friend. But somehow I manage to keep my friends, at least the close ones, for the most part. But really, that’s just the grace of God, not anything on my part. And those people that know me would agree.
There was a time, though, when I went out of my way to try and be friends with people that weren’t as easy to be friends with. Mostly because I was a social loser myself, that in a situation where I was in the “in,” like at church, I wanted to alleviate their outsiderness. That was my strategy at church, especially at retreats. Hang out with those people who don’t totally feel comfortable. It’s the reason I was so resistant to joining the youth choir.
For some reason today during church I was thinking about this guy I met the summer I went to Portugal. I met him at debriefing in Oregon; he had been on some other team, and we kind of got to know each other. Even exchanged a couple letters. The thing was, he was a little awkward. Don’t get me wrong, he was the nicest guy, it’s just he was a little socially awkward. And in my mind, I went out of my way to kind of get to know him a little bit because of that.
Anyway, I don’t do that at all anymore, and I realized that during the sermon today (which wasn’t really related to this thought; I just thought it for some strange reason). And that really sucks.
I think, based on my own feelings and those of others, that we are particularly peeved by weaknesses we perceive in others that we realize in ourselves that we’re trying to change. I know I’ve related this sentiment in the past, and Henry kind of echoed it a little in his last entry, although I may have misinterpreted it. At least for me, I get more annoyed by things I see in myself that I’m working on. Maybe it’s that since I’m working on it, it bothers me when I feel like other people aren’t. But I’m not sure.
Is this related to what I’m thinking at all? I don’t know. Forget it, I don’t have time to figure out why I wrote that.
What I realized was this – with some people, they are just so inherently cool that you (I) deserve no credit at all for being their friend, because it takes absolutely no work. They are just inherently very cool. So I mean, you can’t feel good about yourself for maintaining a friendship with them, because that says nothing about you. It’s only notable if somehow you’re not friends with them. In that case, there’s got to be something seriously wrong with you, because it’s inconceivable to me how you could not get along with these people.
I count among these types of people, Eddie Ahn, George Chong, Joe Kwan, and Eric Mao. I know, it’s kind of a random list, and I don’t know why these particular people stick out to me, but for some random reason, they are to me clear examples of this type of person.
Seriously, can you think of anyone that doesn’t get along with any of these people? If you can, then I’m sorry, there’s just something jacked with that person. Uh oh, maybe I’m one of them. Dangit. But I already know I’m jacked.
At any rate, I just had that realization today, that I’ve managed to maintain pretty much only the easy friendships, ones I deserve absolutely no credit for maintaining, and that really sucks.