Aug 16, 2009


I got an SMS today that said: "Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose." This completely ties up with the idea I had earlier thanks to a comment by Shashi. (As we all know by now, coincidences don't just happen by chance!)

Like attracts like, as the law goes, so we usually end up making friends with people we have something in common with. When we need someone to talk to, we naturally reach out to these buddies, and they in turn give us advice based on which we make some key life decisions. So, as the old wives' saying goes, keep good company. In one word, 'satsang' (truth + company). Our friends keep us in high spirits, keep us positive and happy, and are a vital part of our life choices. Choose them with care.

Besides friends, we usually have other avenues of communicating, learning and community living. I think these too are important parts of our thinking process. The books you read, the websites you visit, the movies you watch, the parties you attend... All these shape us in subtle ways, adding layer on layer of subconscious responses. While we can hardly control the various messages we are bombarded with on a day-to-day basis from advertisements, television and other media, we can filter the ones we do have control over. If we have to read a book or watch a movie, may as well make it a meaningful one. If we have to socialise, may as well do it with those who enrich us.

Then, when the time comes for us to make the most important decisions of our lives, we have stronger tools and more courageous people to lean on. And that, as the great poet said, makes all the difference.


Shashi said...

I agree, but only partly. But it seems I am interested in talking about this!

How can we judge who are good and not-so-good friends? The so-called good friends, in my experience, are the ones who prompt you to be conservative, those who make you feel good about not continuing to be a rebel. Those who say 'yield now, give up fight' also say there'll be peace. It is fake optimism.

Isn't there then a tragedy that we end up not making friends with mavericks? Or even if we make friends with mavericks, one day we realise that 'I can no longer be a rebel' and so a maverick can't be a good friend any more!

Friendship is what we make with each individual, it is not a collective enterprise. So when we look for advice from buddies, it shouldn't happen by negating your own understanding of the situation for they just have second-hand knowledge. You are your guru. You are your healer.

Well, truth should be the basis for some of the most important decisions in our lives. But you will never know the truth unless you really want to know it.

Most friends, and those seemingly courageous people you can lean on, may want to purge you of your real traits because that gives you a sense of giving up your values to feel happy. That makes them happy too. After all, our country is a sacrifice-worshipping society, no matter it is your son you have to sacrifice.

Aekta said...

Thank you for your note. It helps me see a different perspective.

To me, a true friend is one who wants for you what YOU want for you. Who, when you ask 'What should I do?' will not say 'Listen to me' but will say 'Listen to your heart'. Who will always take actions that bring out the highest self in you, even if it means hurting you or the friendship in the process.

I have all kinds of friends: rebels (with or without a cause!) and those who live conservative lives. Some are 20 years old, others are 20 years older; some work in the same place I do, some don't even live in the same city.

None of my friends judge me or guide me to take actions that do not come from my inner wisdom. None of them tell me 'do this' or 'don't do that'. They only say 'What you want for yourself is what WE want for you.'

Sometimes you outgrow your friends. Sometimes your friends grow separately but you don't grow apart. If that friendship is meant to be, you always find your way back again. If not, you move to a different level of friends and satsang. It's all good.

Shashi said...

I have always thought that everybody, including friends, judge you by the success of your actions more than your actions. By success I mean how you convert adversities into advantages. The moment you falter they all tend to judge you, mostly without telling you.

What I always do is confront the hurdle, take the bull by its horns, talk and talk and talk. Nothing works like conversing with your so-called hurdle because no hurdle is a hurdle unless you think it is one. A lot of time is wasted simply by introducing that hurdle to your friends.

Having said that, I must admit that it is friends who keep you in good spirits. No doubt.

But as a rule, from past mistakes, I never take the talk of my 'hurdle' to my friends because there is fun in keeping secret your hurdles.

Your hurdles will, finally, prove to be your best friends! That is my experience.