The October edition of National Geographic had a field note from a monkey watcher. Anthropologist Susan Perry observed that Capuchin monkeys are high drama animals. “She should know, she has studied them in Costa Rica for the past 21 years. Among her findings: Capuchins like to push their fingers up to the first knuckle into each other’s eyes, a likely sign of trust.”
I get the concept, but would personally prefer to not have my eyes poked by my dear friends. An open fist hand shake (assuring the absence of a weapon) or a kind hug works better for me!
While thinking about how to develop trust between friends, I stumbled across an article entitled “How to Encourage a New Pet to Trust You.” It gave a step by step list of activities that would help anyone gain and keep the trust of their pet.
Well, if it works for pets, it probably will work for us humans. Consider the following:
1. “When you first get your pet home, give it time to get used to you and its surroundings.” (Good idea not to crowd new friends with multiple, intense activities either. Let them warm up to you.)
2. “Feed your pet, by hand if possible.” (All friendships need “care and feeding.” Remember, the more personal the attention, the better the friendship.)
3. “Pet and stroke your new pet.” (A new neighbor might not like the stroking idea, but some tangible signs of friendships are a good thought. An appropriate hug works. Sending a note, making a call or dropping off a small gift of remembrance will send the right message as well.)
4. “Read up on your new pet. Know what they like and do not like.” (Knowing the preferences of a friend can be so helpful. Going to their restaurant, letting them pick the coffee house, watching a movie of their choosing will go a long way towards cementing a strong friendship. It is not all about you!)
5. “Respect the feelings of your new pet. If they do not want to be held, don’t force it.” (No one likes to be forced into uncomfortable activities. Be sensitive to your friends. Learn to “read” them and respond appropriately.)
Friendships are built on trust. And that trust takes time to accumulate. Consider how Jonathan and David grew the bonds of their friendship. On more than one occasion, Jonathan warns David of impending danger from his father Saul. At one point, Saul even hurls a spear at his son’s head in an angry retort to Jonathan’s concern for David.
The last recorded words of friendship between David and Jonathan are found in I Samuel 20:42 “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying ‘the Lord is witness between you and me and between your descendants and my descendants forever.'”
This week, let’s cherish the friendships that trust has built!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel