One of the nice things about the internet is that it lets you reconnect with old friends long separated from you by time and distance. One of the horrible things about the internet is that it lets you reconnect….well, you get the idea.
Some time ago I heard from a very old friend indeed, someone I’d met in community college and spent two happy years with as a close friend before I went off to USM and we lost contact, as those things tend to happen. Cool, I think, and it’s great to be able to catch up. As it turned out, not so great. Reading her profile I found that she’d become “Born Again” and to a particularly virulent strain of evangelical pseudo-Christian. Next thing I’m checking out her blog and reading a very bigoted and hateful rant about immigrants and welfare recipients and a host of other imagined enemies of the lunatic right. Not so unusual, especially these sorry days, but you have to realize that this person, when I knew her, was just about the kindest, gentlest, sweetest, go-out-of her-way- to-help-anybody person that I’d ever met. I looked at this and could not find a trace of that person left.
Not sure what the moral is here, if there is one. It’s no newsflash that people do change, and not always for the better. It had been a long time and it was unrealistic of me to think that she’d be the same person I used to know. She’s not, but then again, neither am I. Even so, that was the end of that re-connection. It’s probably selfish of me, but I’d rather remember who she was, not what she became. At least that way the person I once knew still survives, after a fashion. The person I once knew was the sort of person the world needs more of now.
We have more than enough of the latter.