Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Interracial Friendships

Friendships are color blind - for what color has a soul? That is what true friendship is to me. The sharing of two souls, forget the color of the skin that houses them! Friends embrace, support, laugh and cry together, they know when to speak up, when it is best to sit quietly and listen. It matters not whether our friends live in a villa atop some scenic hillside in Tuscany, in a ghetto fourth floor apartment in Harlem, or are seeking tranquility at an ashram in India. Ethnicity and skin color, gender, education or income are not indicators or prerequisites for friendship and should not be determinants for those who fulfill this role in our lives.

We bring into a friendship the experiences that shape us, our cultural backgrounds, the tidbits of wisdom from our family patriarchs and matriarchs. For some, there are rare opportunities to make friends with others outside our immediate social cirlce. We spend our entire lives never going beyond these boundaries and extending the bonds of friendship to those of another race.
Others are blessed to explore the world beyond their immediate spheres and, in so doing, make friends of other races. In areas of mutliple ethnicities, this is so easy. Children are born without prejudices and, unless they learn it from the adults around them, they play happily side by side, begin school together, and grow up sharing customs, holidays, foods, and friendships.

The world of the internet has been instrumental in initiating many interracial and international friendships. For some, it is difficult to get out in their communities and online communication has been a wonderful medium for sharing lives and battling loneliness.  It has been the stimulus for inspiring people to learn more about cultures different from their own and eliminating some of the anxiety one might feel about the unknown. Staying in touch with friends has become easier, from any part of the world.

I strongly believe in that old adage, "To have a friend, be a friend." Sometimes that means taking a risk, giving more than fifty percent. Over a lifetime, friends come and go as our needs and interests change. A true friend, however, is one that is there forever and a treasure to cherish and love, from the inside out. I relate to the heart of the person, not to the color of their skin. That being said, I cherish many hearts that are housed in ethnicities of the world.

13 comments:

  1. Such a good post and mirrors my own feelings on this subject. I hope in a few hundred years there are no 'races' just one melted pot of humans.

    Love Granny

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  2. Good luck with the ashram. I had a friend years ago who went to one and came back glowing with mystical "inner" energy...

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  3. Beautifully said, Carmen!

    Skin color should not be the first thing we judge when we see another human being. As long as we keep this in mind, we will be a better person.

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  4. what color has a soul, indeed - the color of humanity. thank you for this post.

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  5. Great post Carmen.

    I was fortunate to group up in a home where everyone was created equal.

    My mother's famous line 'You are no better than anyone and no one is better than you.'

    Love Renee xoxo

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  6. I don't have enough friendships with people who are out of my general sphere. I do enjoy meeting and talking with people who have different life experiences than mine though. Thoughtful post today.

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  7. Granny on the Web: I'm glad you liked this post.

    Gledwood: I could certaily use some mystical
    "inner" energy and some energy in general...
    this aging body is slowing me down too much!

    Icy: thank you...I have always felt this way in
    spite of growing up around a good deal of
    prejudice. I heartily agree with your
    sentiments!

    Manuela, you are so right...humanity.

    Renee - you had a very wise mother. I wish my
    mother had felt that way. She was one of
    13 children of poor Mississippi share
    croppers who taught bigotry and hatred.

    steviewren - I am so blessed, most of my life,
    since I left home to have friends from the
    entire world and, of course, living in San
    Francisco is like traveling constantly.

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  8. Living in South Africa, I could probably write a complete post on interracial relationships, but I won't. I have a number of black and coloured friends but I must admit, that forging a friendship over the colourline in this country is extremely difficult as a result of the injustices of the past as well as those of the present. However, I do pray that this will change and I believe that it will happen with our children now mixing and interacting freely from kindergarden age.

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  9. In an ideal world there should be no separation of races. I hope my prayers are powerful enough to achieve it. Good post, Carmen. I agree about the Internet bringing friendships. Bless you all.

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  10. Autumn is my fave time of year, as like friends, I love friends from all walks of life, just like the leaves they can come in many colors , shapes and forms. JUst one thing. They cannot make me give up CHOCO-L-A T eeeeeeeee LOL
    smiles

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  11. Margie (Jane): I also grew up in the South but never listened to the rednecks so I've had friendships with a variety of people.
    Great post!

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  12. I can meet the understanding person of the good Far East like you, and i am happy.

    It is precious Friendships.

    Thank you.
    ruma

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  13. beautifully put truth!

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