The Power of Friendship

By: Jeff Mortimore, RSI Community Connector

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
– C.S. Lewis

It’s a time of social distancing and practicing safe measures in order to remain healthy and to keep others safe. It’s pretty safe to say that for most of us, this hasn’t come easy. The truth is, that this self-imposed isolation has come at a cost to our health. Friendships are important to our souls, as they can increase our sense of belonging and purpose, and boost our happiness and reduce our stress. It’s even been said that having just a few intimate friendships can add years to our lives. So, this time of fear and uncertainty is a wonderful opportunity to take pause and review just how important friendships are in our lives. Oh, how we long for that time when we can see, hear, touch, and feel the meaning of true friendship.

When I first met Ben, he wasn’t one to talk much. Instead, he preferred to show me what was important to and for him. He happily showed me his collections, his videos, and his weather apps. Yes, he had three weather apps on his phone, and according to his team, he spent countless hours studying the weather radar patterns. He particularly liked violent weather, and thunderstorms made him light up with excitement.

It was an easy decision to introduce him to Adam Clark, Chief Meteorologist for KBJR in Duluth. I knew Adam to be very passionate about his job and he seemed engaging and approachable. So I set it up, a blind date of weather guys. Meeting new people can be hard, but I was unprepared for such a joyful connection and laughter when they first met. Adam cracked a joke, and off they went to the soundboard and satellite feeds. Have you ever met someone that just felt like an old shoe, comfortable and safe? It was an amazing thing to see, and I quickly removed myself to the fringes to watch this wonderful process unfold.

Throughout the last year, Adam and Ben have gotten together several times in person. Each time with the same level of joy and engagement, never wavering. When the pandemic hit this country, it caught Adam square in the crosshairs as he was in Europe at the time. Luckily he caught a late flight out of London and spent the necessary time in self-quarantine. Upon returning to his duties, he had to conduct his weather programming from his home. It was also during this time that he was offered a job to return to his home state of South Carolina.

I took Ben to meet with Adam on his last day at the station, and it was very bittersweet. They met each other just as they had the first time, with joy and laughter. Old friends. They promised to stay in touch and I sincerely hope that they do. It reminded me again of how simple it can be when another human being touches your heart.


Learn more about Jeff’s work at RSI on our Community Connections page.