Focus On: Friendship—Just Ask

Friendships can start in some pretty simple ways.

Mindy Bradley of Farmington, Utah, likes to dance.

Mindy’s spirits were high as she looked forward to her first regional youth dance. She and her friends spent time carefully getting ready and approached the dance anticipating the possibility of meeting new people, making new friends, and having a great time. She didn’t let the fact that she is confined to a wheelchair dampen her enthusiasm.

“Sometimes people don’t realize that, just because I’m in a wheelchair it doesn’t mean I can’t do these things,” she says. “Usually people just stand in front of me and we hold hands and sort of sway back and forth.”

Still, Mindy’s wheelchair can make it difficult for her to mingle with other people, especially ones she doesn’t know. Several people at the dance realized that and decided they would approach her instead of waiting for her to talk with them.

“Just as we finished a fun line dance, I noticed a group of kids on the other side of the room walking up to me.

I was sitting there thinking it was a little odd, but before I could do much, there they were, placing their chairs in a semicircle in front of me.”

The group of guys and girls asked her where she was from, what school she attended, and what she liked to do for fun. After several minutes of conversation, one of the boys asked her to dance.

“It was really fun, and it sort of got the ball rolling,” says Mindy. “After that, a bunch of other people asked me to dance. Before, I don’t think they knew I could.”

Being a friend can sometimes be difficult, requiring lots of time and energy. Sometimes, though, being a friend can be as simple as saying, “Would you like to dance?”

[illustration] Illustrated by Greg Newbold