"Why don't you have any friends?" It was a mocking question I heard over and over again in various variations through the years I lived in North Babylon. Even my Mom worried aloud to me about my lack of friends and gave me really bad advice on how to make friends. For a few years I had one close friend, but something happened in sixth grade and I could never consider her a friend again even though we were on cordial terms through high school and much of junior high. It wasn't until after I left for MIT that I realized how I should have answered that question: There is no one here worth being friends with. I couldn't have realized it before because it was only when I got to MIT that met my first true friends.
One of the things I really value about my friends is that we can disagree on important issues without it getting in the way of that friendship. I write about some sensitive topics in this blog, and yet I know that I do not need to censor any post for fear of what my friends might think. Specifically, I write quite a bit about Assisted Reproductive Technology, and I've been mentioning abortion. Some of the people on my friends list are Catholic, in a few cases quite devoutly so, and I can only assume that they must hold views on these things that are very different from my own. I have faith in my friends, and so I can write about my feelings and choices and decisions in these areas without holding back. I know that if they feel differently they will still support me and I trust that they will understand that I still respect their beliefs no matter how strongly I feel about my own. This is a rare and precious quality in people, and I am very grateful that I now know so many people who possess it.