Phil is my good friend. I’m trying
to figure out why. We do have a few things in common. We live a few houses from
one another; we were born only six days apart; we both married women with four
letter names beginning with the letter “J”—Joan and Jane; and we both have a
son and a daughter. That’s about it for the superficial commonality.
Our differences abound. Phil is a
Methodist, and I’m a Jew; Phil is a conservative Republican, and I’m a bleeding
heart liberal Democrat; Phil lives to eat, and I eat to live; Phil likes green
hot sauce with breakfast, and I think the sale of green hot sauce should be
outlawed; Phil reads the Wall Street Journal, and I read the New York Times;
Phil loves cars and their engines, and I don’t know how to open the hood of my
car; Phil has lived his entire life in California, and I lived the first 69
years in Jersey, etc., etc.
You get the point. We are as
different as Felix Unger and Oscar Madison in “The Odd Couple.” So what makes our friendship work? I think I finally got the answer. We both love to laugh. We see the humor
in almost everything. We have each other’s back. We share many of the same
values -- love of family, respect for hard work, integrity, loyalty.
But opposites can also attract. We
are not threatened by our differences.
We are stimulated by them. We grow because of them. We learn by hearing
the other’s point of view, but we don’t need to convince the other I’m right
and he’s wrong. So, as the French
are known for saying, “Viva la difference.”
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