Thursday, August 9, 2012

In Cahoots!

This Saturday, two Mormon Geeks will be getting muddy, zapped by electricity, and will be worn out from intense challenges.  That's right.  T.J. and I will be competing in the Cahoots Duo Challenge!  The idea behind this mud run is that every obstacle is meant to be passed by teams of two.  The challenges not only challenge the physical but also your mental and teamwork skills.

Our team is the Super Panda Brothers.  We will have a flag to carry around as part of the competition.  I even came up with a design.  (Just got to find a place affordable to print it off.)

Basically, I'm really excited.  I know this is going to stretch me to my limits but looking forward to the experience.  T.J. is my best friend and I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather be my teammate.

We can't get through this world without being in cahoots with someone.  We need friends by our side to help us get through the tough times and to make life even better in the good times.

The sad part is that true friendship is very uncommon in both the geek and Mormon worlds.  It can be difficult to build bonds with other geeks when your only interaction with them is in a digital world.  (This is one of the reasons why tabletop RPGs trumps MMORPGs in my opinion.)  Members of the ward can find difficulty building trust and relationships with one another.  They may not have much in the way of common interests as well.

Friendship is a funny thing.  I have found deep close friendship with both people I share almost no common interests with and people I share many common interests with.  What works for me is simply being proactive, vulnerable, and being open minded.

Being proactive doesn't mean being extroverted.  Introverts have made some of my closest friends.  Being proactive essentially means being both willing to initiate friendship and willing to receive friendship.  It may mean stepping out of your comfort zone.

Being vulnerable is a little bit more difficult to describe and do.  Vulnerability is essentially allowing yourself the potential to be hurt.  Why would anyone do this?  Because you cannot feel pleasure or joy without allowing yourself to feel pain or sorrow.  For me, telling someone how I feel makes me vulnerable.  For you it may mean inviting them to lunch, to play a game, or doing service together.

You're never going to find someone that shares all of the same common interests as you or share all of your opinions. (Even if you did, would you really want to be friends with them?  You'd get bored.)  Being open minded means your open to trying something new or learning about something foreign to you.  For example, T.J. really likes WWE.  I don't share the same interest but have grown a casual appreciation for it.  No, I wouldn't watch it on my own but I could legitimately watch it with a friend and sincerely enjoy it.

Being open minded doesn't mean you'll love everything that your friends will.  It simply means your open to trying new things.  It also means that you won't hate your friends for not sharing the same passion you have.  I love playing Dungeons and Dragons but I have a number of different friends who stay away from it like the social suicide plague.  (Which, depending on your social circles, it is.)

I hope my friendship advice is helpful.  Wish T.J. and I luck on our run!
-Stephen




3 comments:

  1. We're so proud of you guys! Kick butt! :D

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    Replies
    1. Butts will be kicked. "Whose" is in question though.

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  2. We had a great run! We did really well on a lot of the obstacles too. We're gonna feel it in the morning. Ha ha.

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