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According to the American Federation of Herpetoculturists, the fastest growing area of the pet trade is snakes! Alec Wilkinson wrote in The New Yorker that “The company of snakes is an expression of the new disengagement and necessary concentration of pleasures.” A few moments with a snake, not three walks with a dog. Snakes need very little space and you have to feed most of them only once a week.
The trend seems to reflect the aloofness and independence of people in communities. This is not God’s plan for his people. He wanted a sense of community among people. We remember Naomi and Dorcas because of their giving themselves to those close to them. Paul was close to Onesimus and defended him to his master Philemon. John said we show love for God by showing love for other people (I John 4:7-8). Paul stressed, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love” (Romans 12:10).
We need each other. We must learn to cultivate relationships. Take the time to develop friendships. Jesus developed strong relationships with his special twelve, but he also had three that were closer: Peter, James, and John. Then as the closest, John referred to himself as the “disciple Jesus loved” (John 13:23). There are times when what we need most cannot be bought with money; instead, our needs are met by a friendly face and a helpful hand. Let’s face it—even the Lone Ranger had a partner!
©2012 Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP
About the Author
Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP, is Emeritus Professor of speech communication at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Kentucky. He works with organizations that want to speak and listen more effectively to increase personal and professional performance. He can be reached at 800-727-6520.