Getting to know you

Getting to know anybody can take a long time. Some people have worked side by side for years and know very little about each other. To achieve a better understanding of an individual, you have to discuss a wide variety of subjects with him… and this takes time. This process is a little bit like sculpting a wooden figure. You start with a rough outline and you slowly chip away the concealing material to reveal the inner person.

I have always deplored the fact that when playing pétanque you don’t have that opportunity. A real fan of the game comes to the field to play, not to discuss his life philosophy or his political inclinations… and I understand that. But nothing prevents you from mixing competitiveness with friendliness… assuming that you can walk and chew gum at the same time…

No matter how long you have played with somebody, you often don’t know that person. You just know faces… and even this is a little improbable nowadays. Most of the time you are unaware of their occupation, if they are married, if they are politically progressive or conservative, if they are prudish or broad-minded, etc. In short, they are semi-strangers… and some people like it this way.

But I am a little different. It could be my love of photography that incites me to pay more attention to words and mannerisms. Getting to know a person is my guilty pleasure, my “péché mignon”.

I have to know more than a name before feeling comfortable with anybody. And that’s why I am partial to some social media. Facebook for instance has fans and detractors, but it is also a good way to discover like-minded people. They will agree or disagree with you on different subjects and after a while, you know who you are dealing with.

To feel content in life, you have to surround yourself with people sharing the same values, or at least the same sense of humor. Because (besides Covid-19) nothing is more contagious and generating good vibes than laughter and good humor. And with friends, no subject should be taboos. You should feel free to discuss anything and everything.

“Whenever a taboo is broken, something good happens, something vitalizing. Taboos after all are only hangovers, the product of diseased minds, you might say, of fearsome people who hadn’t the courage to live and who under the guise of morality and religion have imposed these things upon us.” ~ Henry Miller

Getting to know former strangers is often rewarding. Instead of dealing with an unknown figure, you might discover a kindred-spirit… and possibly a new BFF.

For 2021, my goal is getting to know many of you better, uncover your hidden qualities (and your dark secrets), and when the #@^*! pandemic is over, share a loaf of bread and a glass of wine with you.

TTFN (ta ta for now)

Alain

If you can’t say anything nice, say it in French.

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