As you start this week, as you look to the left and the right of you to find friends, don’t forget to look in front and behind you as well.

It’s not a stretch to make friends with people in your life stage—fellow moms in the trenches, the coworker in the desk down the hall, the other students in your dorm hall. Making friends isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but we do tend to naturally gravitate towards those people most like us.

But be challenged this week to look for those people walking in front of you— older men or women in need of someone they can mentor, or who also might just need a friend, too. And look behind you as well, to those a bit younger, who might love a friend who’s a bit older, and who can teach you a thing or two as well.

I was reminded of this last night, sitting in a friend’s living room with a group of people of all sorts—older, younger, single, married, different colors and backgrounds and stories. An older woman piped up and said, “I love how you young people are so open to being vulnerable with each other and are willing to get wisdom where you can find it.” (Apparently we were the young ones here.) I loved hearing from someone older, and I realized how much I’ve missed that in my life. I need it, in fact. She spoke simple wisdom, and my bones softened sitting near her.

Seek out community in unexpected places this week. Be brave and seek out older and younger friends—they just might surprise you.

Psst… Starting this Tuesday, I’ll be writing daily over at my personal site, participating in my friend Myquillyn’s annual 31 Days series. I’m approaching it with fear and trembling, because I’ve never posted daily in my life. But I’m really excited about my topic, so if you want to follow along, head on over there!