As the 7 of us sat nervously frisking ourselves for sanity because we’d decided to travel to Rwanda to do community development with a bunch of strangers, my young Team Leader began our experience by giving us a snapshot of her personal style. It went something like this.
“In a minute I’m going to give you a chance to introduce yourself. Before that, though, I just want you to know I super respect your reason for being here and am so excited to do this thing! I am ( her name, age and occupation) and this will be my second trip to Rwanda. I have no idea what we’ll be doing yet, but we’ll learn that together in the next 3 months. I am sure that God brought you to this moment, and I can’t wait to find out your story! But just so you know, I’m a really open person, a huge hugger, and you’ll know that we’re friends when I eat off your plate.”
So, some things about that intro made me laugh and put me at ease, but, candidly, I had a few red flags! She had no plan and no boundaries, and she wasn’t embarrassed about either of those things. I leaned in, then I leaned out, if you know what I mean. She made a lasting first impression on me, though, not because she declared she planned to steal my food, but because she declared herself as warm, and trustworthy.
Are you going to finish that?
Pay attention to what you feel when someone intrudes on your pattern of ruling your world. I know there are people who disturb the peace in a group situation to amuse themselves, but when friends dare closeness in sweet little ways, you can feel the difference.
This is a fun question to try out with friends because, as with every question we ask to grow a friendship, we risk something and we learn something.
It’s not about the food – at all – but you knew that. When friends share supplies or sustenance, we abandon another bit of our handy disguise. It’s vulnerable. The best part is it’s generally camouflaged in cake.
Friendship is fragile; handle with care. You can do it, this one’s a breeze! Just remember, if I invite you to my plate or you invite yourself,
I’m letting you into my personal space a little more right now. We agree that it’s what we both want. I would not do this with someone I didn’t like.
But, I like you.
So, help yourself.
Did you miss a question or two in the series? Just head over to the main topic page for #CultivateCourageous