I remember back when I was young, my aunt would often tell us (me and my cousins) that we should choose our friends and the people we accompany. That time, I thought it was just her act of being too protective with us. Perhaps, she doesn’t want us to be harmed or be dragged into something bad. Yet, with those simple advice, I became conscious of whom I make friends with. Sometimes I was discriminating, literally. I used to love making friends with smart people, those who are academically doing well.
It was when I was in college that I’ve learned to slowly go out of my comfort zone. I was exposed to a very diverse community of people with different religion, culture, belief, values and behaviour. “It’s not really that bad to meet and engage with various people,” I thought. From there, I realized there are a lot more behind those few words from my aunt.
“Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” Sounds cliché, but true. Indeed, our friends will influence us in several different ways. Perhaps through the way we behave, our way of thinking, decision making, personal goals and even the choices in life. With my different circle of friends, I must say that I’ve learned a lot from them and they contributed to my being.
My closest circle of friends are my college friends, whom I have known inside and outside the classrooms, through thick and thin, ups and downs. These geeks are “ambitious” but in a very good way. They have plans, they know pretty well their goals and priorities, and they have means to achieve it. They influence me by becoming a goal-oriented person. How? Well, they’re working not just in big, but among the prestigious companies in the country. At the same time, they’re pursuing their respective master’s degree, not to mention one of them is currently in Japan pursuing his second master’s degree. Not that I’m taking it as a competition, but their achievements drive me not to just settle for less but to achieve more as well, to excel too in my chosen career and to find my own worth. Nevertheless, though they’re busy achieving their life goals, these geeks still have time to throw parties and enjoy life at the same time. A work-life balance.
These very few friends of mine are not really tightwad but are just thrifty. At age mid 20’s, they focus on propagating their financial assets by investing and spending wisely. They believe in the concept of delayed gratification, yet they don’t forget that making a life is still important. They would rather have a homemade coffee than those from expensive coffee shops. They prefer to cook food and pack it for lunch instead of going to restaurants. They go for travel to relax, but not as often that even their savings are being compromised. Let’s say, they’re just pragmatic. They made me realized that I’m earning more than how much I need, so there’s no way for me not to be able to save for my future. They’ve encouraged me to start investing in mutual funds and then I have also started paying for my own house. These gals are very futuristic. A well-off future.
More than anyone else, my brothers and sisters in Christ are my shoulders to lean on next to God. Who would not agree that a more fulfilling and happy life is that one lived for the glory of God? But when my faith is shaken, these buddies are the embers that keep my fire burning. When I do wrong they won’t tolerate and pamper me. Instead, they castigate me with the scripture just to show me the right path. When I’m hurt and broken, they are like those pillows at night that shed my tears and comforts me. They always make me realize that the love and goodness of God is not just sufficient, but more than enough reasons for me to be happy. A godly light at dark.
Happy Go Lucky
These are the type of friends you would love to spend time with if you just want to enjoy life without bothering too much of the future. They love food trips, movie marathon, and getaways. Probably it’s their hobbies and no problem, pressure or stress which these cannot soothe. These companies can be very extravagant to the point that we often went out of budget. But the good thing about them is that they’re very positive and with them life is so much fun. Yet, because they’re already at their comfort zones they fail to realize that there’s more to life than just being contented of what they have at the moment. Just a happy life.
When a person is always around you, it is inevitable not to be influenced by their personality and traits. Sometimes these can be good or bad. You may become accustomed to it and eventually adapt it. Probably, that’s why our aunt wanted us to be selective with our friends. She doesn’t want us to be corrupted.
However, God gave us the wisdom and freedom to choose who we become. We have the power to choose the behaviours and believes we’re going to adapt. The key here is discipline. You can be friends and accompany all sorts of people in the world: good or bad, rich or poor, genius or dope, famous or not; but know that what is right will always be right and what is wrong will always be wrong. You can be friends with them, but if you think what they’re doing isn’t right then don’t do it. But, if you think their activities are going to lead you to success then don’t hesitate as well to be one of them. Just do not compromise your principles just to blend with others. Make a discipline and discipline yourself.