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OPENNESS: “I’m not sure ‘being in the same place’ and ‘being friends’ is the same thing.”

Movie quote from: Charlotte's Web (2006) - Wilber (Dominic Scott Kay)

charlotteIn Charlotte's Web, Wilber the pig is moved to a new barnyard.  Immediately upon arrival, he introduces himself to the various animal groups.  Everyone seems uninterested in playing with Wilber, comfortable within their own fences and daily routines.  This is the same experience faced by any person moving to a new environment.  It's never easy to be the new pig in town.

What is it about our culture that we are so insular in our relationships?  Every new person you meet is an encyclopedia of places you've never been, perspectives you've never heard, ideas you've never had, interests you've never known, and opinions you've not experienced.  Of course it's good to spend time with old friends.  However, we are wise to take time to develop new friendships along the way. 

Wilber shows great wisdom for a young pig when he tells the barnyard, "I'm not sure 'being in the same place' and 'being friends' is the same thing."  Interaction is required for friendships to grow.  Wilber eventually develops a real friend in Charlotte, a spider who sees him as 'some pig', 'radiant', 'terrific' and 'humble'.  Her faith in him saves his life and motivates the rest of the animals to think past their own comfortable corners of the barn.

In Charlotte's Web, the barnyard becomes more unified around a common quest to save Wilber from the inevitable smoked ham experience.  A community benefits by remaining open; it becomes more insular and narrow-minded when it tries to close itself from the world.  We are wise to fight the natural inclination to always do the same old things with the same old people.  There are interesting people beyond our web of friends.      

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