EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

The renewal of old friendships

I never cease to be amazed how time stands still with respect to old friends.

Several years ago one of my fraternity brothers was digging through some old photos in his basement and found a box from college. This prompted him to go to our national organization and get an email list. And so, the renewal process began for friendships that dated back 40 years! At the time it was pretty exciting for me to hear about the lives of individuals I lived in such close quarters with for 4 formative years. And, I took the time to immediately call several of these old friends. (Yes, I have known them for a long time, and I guess all of us have gotten old.) I ultimately called almost all of them, and we actually scheduled a reunion attended by 40 of us in Chicago later that year.

It is unfortunate in a sense that I moved away from Indiana, but then again many of my college friends don’t live anywhere near there anyway. As we were scattered to the 4 winds, our lives separated and except for a very few of them I honestly lost track of them.

That was college. Most of us have another formative period called our early work career. Typically members of The FENG have worked for a large corporation for many years, perhaps even two or three before they were in their late 40’s. These were the glory years in a very real sense. We learned to apply the education we received in college and developed skills that allowed us to get promoted and grow mentally.

What is most important to tonight’s message is that we didn’t do this alone. We had business associates, some of whom we spent more time with than our families.

For all of those friends with whom we struggled far into the night, middle age or late middle age is a great time to track down these many individuals and renew old friendships. And, as a member of The FENG, you have a remarkable tool in our Member Directory Search feature which is available on our website. It honestly represents to you a resource that no one else on the face of the earth in any other professional arena has.

Anytime you have a few moments, sign into our website and see if you can track down people you have lost touch with. Even if you don’t find their names in our membership directory, you will generally be at least able to find a few folks from your old companies and although you don’t know THEM, they may know your old friends.

My window into this world is both personal and related to The FENG. As I am sure you know everyone in The FENG has a sponsor. What you may not know is that if someone registers without a sponsor, we help them find one. We do this in the same manner described above. We search the names of the companies where they have worked and ask them if they know any of the folks we mention. It is very exciting when they say they do know someone and mention that they have lost touch. We know they are in for a walk down memory lane that both parties will greatly enjoy.

Friendship is a gift you share with others. I hope that like me, you count your wealth in friends.

Regards, Matt

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