Recently a close friend and I attended a concert for which we’d bought tickets months in advance. My friend’s joy was quite the sight. When the second song of the evening turned out to be her favorite, she pulled out her phone and began recording a video. She also caused quite a bit of discomfort all around her because of her camera’s flash. She was the one who applauded the longest after every song. In fact she replied audibly with ovation when the musician on stage addressed the audience. Just like a child, she enjoyed every second of that concert without thinking about what others thought or would say about her.
While all this was happening I had the feeling that this concert was maybe some kind of test for me. When the type of social behavior we berate in others is displayed by those closest to us, a range of emotions invades the soul: disappointment (did someone say expectations?); distress (but why?); being embarrassed for that person (who do you think you are?); acceptance (is anything else possible?); a sense of unity (if my friend is enjoying herself who cares about the others?)…
Spending time with those who don’t act like us in social environments is a test in patience and acceptance. It literally pushes us to learn this sentence: the world doesn’t have to be the way we perceive it. Our loved ones don’t have to be like us. The love we feel despite differences and contrasts is pure and precious.