While waiting for the bus today, something made me wonder.
In game, back in the ol’ days, I often added new friends to my friend list.
I met them in the strangest places, all around Azeroth.
Most of them are still on my friend list today. Sadly not many play actively. Still, I keep them around, just in case, so I will never miss a “has come online” message, should that day come.
But I also made new friends along the way in Legion.
Friends I would miss deeply if our paths would go in different directions.
They made their way into my friend list and heart, often after a Dungeon run, a joined quest, or by having a transmog I simply have to comment on. We chat a bit, and within a few moments, it’s easy to establish, if our minds think alike. Some even make their way through Twitter or blogging, so thank you for that 🙂
Some friends I do not group with often, others I group with all the time. Some I chat a lot with, others on occasions. It’s not always easy to get playing times to align. But they are there for me, and I for them, be it simply to just share a moment of joy of something we come across.
But what about real life?
Rarely have I ‘picked up a friend’ in the same way there.
Granted, walking up to someone and tell them, they look mighty fine in their gear today, asking if they want to come with you to the store to get some milk for the quest giver at home, might be considered a tad odd out there in the real world.
And that is sad, really. People’s instant reaction to interaction with strangers is often suspicion.
If I pass by an elderly woman, who struggles to carry her groceries, and I offer to help her, she thinks I am going to rob her.
In game, little interaction is needed compared to back then, too.
An entire Dungeon can run its course from start to finish, without as much as a “Hello”.
So what does it take to ‘pick up a friend’ today?
In game it’s easier, because we can be so anonymous. We feel we have little to lose.
In the real world, not so much; it’s far more difficult.
What got me thinking about this, was a woman I met, while waiting for the bus. She needed directions and info on how to get to a certain place, which train to take and so forth, and we chatted until the bus came, and when we got off, we exchanged smiles, she thanked me again, and I wished her a safe journey.
That was it. Within the little time we spent together, I could easily establish we hit it off. So why didn’t I just ask her, if she was new in town, and offered her a tour sometime? My group of friends are a tight knit bunch, and I would love to have more.
We are so busy today, minding our own business. No time for empathy, little time for an open mind, and so afraid to leave ourselves vulnerable.
The last friend I ‘picked up’ in the real world was over five years ago. She sat at the counter in a grocery store, and I must have seen and small-talked with her for months. One day she tells me, this would be her last week working there, since she would return to her studies.
I am grateful today, that she told me, because it gave me the nudge I needed, to build up the courage and ask her, if she was looking for a friend. She thought I was very brave.
Today, five years later, we are still very great friends.
We even have children around the same age now. We are both busy with our families, but when we get together, it feels as if we have known each other for decades, and I am so glad I left myself vulnerable back then.
Argus is upon us.
Let today be the day, you open yourself up to the possiblity of a long lasting friendship. If you want, of course. Quality above quantity.
Pack your bags with compliments and throw them around with generousity.
What do you have to lose?
Azeroth, stay safe. I leave you in the hands of the Cenarion Circle.
Happy Patch day everyone 🙂