Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesdays with Friendly People

This is how my imaginary scowl looked.
Creative Commons License 3.0; credit to natsumi88
Over the course of the last few weeks, I feel like everybody has been writing about their great success finding friendly people that love to talk about literature and are just thrilled down to their toes to discuss fun literary topics with anyone and everyone. And I gave those friendly people an imaginary scowl because where were my friendly people?

So this week, I stuck my neck out a little. I felt determined to find myself a friendly person or two for myself, because everyone deserves some friendly people in their lives (besides their actual friends, of course). On Friday, I discovered Mitch Albom's official website, which was exciting. I created an account so I could post in the discussions and forums and went straight to work reading old things and drafting my own little post. Unfortunately, the site seems to have gotten a little run down, and looks to be largely obsolete now. So I went looking for other friendly people.

The next place that came to mind was Goodreads. What better place to find friendly literary people than on a website devoted to books? I posted another discussion topic in the Tuesdays with Morrie forum, but that hasn't come to anything yet either. The book isn't as popular as it was several years ago, when Morrie did his Nightline interviews and people all over America got to feel a certain closeness for the lovely Morrie with his genuine smile and puffs of white hair.

So I tried again! I started browsing via Google Blog searches, and I discovered a blog post by a friendly guy named Jerry. He talked about how deeply the book touched him, how it inspired him to change some of his isolated behaviors and get out in the world and meet people and be friendly. I got excited as I realized that this could be my very own friendly person. I scrolled down to the bottom of the post and noticed that the latest reply (posted by Jerry himself) had been only hours earlier! RECENT ACTIVITY! I wrote and rewrote a nice reply (which ended up being extremely simple) expressing my gratitude for his post--it was very honest and heartfelt, and I was touched by his story. He, too, has recently developed ALS (Lou Gehrigh's Syndrome), the same disease Morrie was diagnosed with, and which eventually took his life.

I found a friendly person!

Jerry replied today, just a brief comment about the movie and how much he enjoyed the book, but this encounter gave me confidence. I don't know if he's the kind of person that I would want to discuss my literary ideas with in depth, but I found an enthusiast, and I think I can find more. It was enjoyable and rewarding, and I'm excited to try it out again!

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