I have a friend. In fact, I have several friends but I am thinking of one in particular. We are as different as water and syrup. Not so different, you say? I concede that one is essentially made up of the other with a lot of sugar thrown in and then heated until thick. But I’ve still got a point.
My friend is the water: a clear, life-sustaining, thirst-quenching kind of person. I’m the syrup: a sort of sticky, sweet, slightly dark substance that is an absolute MUST with some things but that to be honest, too much of makes you sick. Pancakes with water poured over them are mush. Pancakes with syrup are to die for but not exactly something you want to eat for every meal. Or you might. But then you’d get tired of them after a while. Either that or your arteries and pancreas would stage a rebellion.
Here’s the thing. Together my friend and I balance each other perfectly. Her clarity balances my slightly sticky darkness. There is almost nothing I enjoy more than getting her opinion on things. We almost always disagree. It’s fun, really, to find things, the most basic of things, about which we can find a way to disagree. The subtleties of difference in our opinions fight their way to the surface to sun themselves in the light of day. It makes our friendship so satisfying. It’s impossible to be around her without being challenged to think.
We’ve changed each other, I think. And no, I don’t think I’ve become a watered-down version of my syrupy self. But I think we’ve both grown to appreciate the properties of the other. We call it disagreeing beautifully.
If you look back through my water/syrup analogy, you’ll find places where it doesn’t hold up. Don’t look too hard. I really should have used two more opposite things. Things which both have negative properties that could be drawn out to make my point in a more umm…pointed way. Truthfully, if you go back and read this again, my analogy doesn’t hold up at all. You’d probably disagree with me.
But I rather enjoy that. 🙂