I spent the past weekend hosting a reunion for a small group of friends fromÂ high school. Since I hadn’t seen many of my old pals in over 15 years, it was interesting to see where they ended up. It’s funny how people turn out so differently than you predict.
For instance, I would have never guessed that a rebellious teenager that frequently tested the limits of authority would thrive in a career in law enforcement, or that my most ambitious friend would be her happiest as a stay at home Mom. Or that the timid boy who sat next to me in band would be chivalrous enough to rescue bodies from Tsunami ravaged ocean waters.
And if you would have told me 15 years ago that all of us could reunite without a single phone call, letter or accidental run in at the grocery store, I would have said you were crazy. Thanks to Facebook, not only am I now in touch with my estranged friends, but I now know what they have for dinner, when they switch brands of toothpaste and how well they maintain a virtual farm. So much for my predictions.
I suppose I’m not alone in my lack of foresight. Fifteen years ago who would have predicted a financial crisis that would bring Wall Street to its knees, that deposits could be made by an App on a cell phone or that you could pay all your bills without licking a single stamp? Who would have reasoned that the word “community” would define anyone in the world of your choosing or that you could issue a thought and within seconds people around the globe could read it?
I certainly would have never theorized that the word “friend” would be morphed to mean anyone you’ve ever come in contact with or care to know in the future. Or that you could get to know someone who lives a thousand miles away even better than aÂ colleagueÂ in a neighboring office.
It’s truly amazing what can happen in 15 years and I can’t help but wonder what the next decade and a half will bring. Will credit unions ever become the mainstream instead of the alternative? Will branches finally become extinct to technology? Will the word “community” refer to the people who live near you or just those you have an odd variable in common with? Will we need a new word for the true “friends” we really care about?
Time will only tell what the future will bring. But I can only hope that people will still have a need to reconnect, meet face to face and reminisce about the way things were… 15 years ago.