Partner and I had the discussion a couple nights ago around the dinner table: how many kids that you went to high school with became missionaries? I think the question was sparked by something on the television in the other room. Anyway, for him, the answer was zero; for me, the answer was six, including missionary spouses. That really surprised him - Yankee Catholic urbanite that he is verses former Southern Baptist suburbanite that I am.
And I also had the realization that I saw those kids on one side and me on the other now, that we play for completely different teams. They go for the authoritarian superstition represented by the church whereas I support the free flow of knowledge, ideas, and information represented by the public library (governmental services). Totally different ways of championing mostly incompatible value systems.
I'm not shocked that I haven't heard from any of these people in fifteen years. And I guess that adds another layer of explanation to why I feel no compulsion to reach out to my former classmates.
I just never really looked at their life course compared to mine before. I wouldn't have expected the overwhelming sense of surprise. You know?