Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The # friends we have,the company we keep.

It was the year 2010.Computers had invaded our lives in a big way and the urban young had taken to it like fish to water.But me?I was not young any more.I felt left out,relegated to the margin as it were.Just out of curiosity and a desire to test myself,I wanted to have a go at it.But buying a PC involved a tidy sum and I did not know if I would be able to learn it's operation.

So I asked a friend who was already fiddling with it- 'do you think I will be able to learn how to operate a PC?'She looked at me for a moment and then said yes.So I went ahead and bought one with the help of my grandson who had come over for a visit.That was the beginning of my life as a blogger and a net-surfer.

Now cut to another friend.Suppose I had asked her, who always sees a glass as half empty;what would she have said?'Oh no Indu don't even think of this,it is a highly technical gadget and at our age it is very difficult to learn new skills.'Period!

You get my point?The friends we have and the company we keep;often shape the way we think and act.We tend to imbibe the habits and perspectives of those with whom we interact over extended periods.That is why extreme caution is needed while choosing our friends.

Generally we opt for like-minded friends whose values do not differ majorly from ours.We enjoy their company.They offer support when we most need it and also caution us if we give in to questionable temptations.They influence us in subtle ways.When I see a friend putting up stoically with a divorce or an illness,I too am motivated to be more resilient.On the other hand if I spend most of my time with a habitual whiner,I may feel bound to chime in with my own grouses and begin to see the world through darker shades.   

But old,comfortable friends could also be a reason for confining ourselves to trusted environs and not attempting anything new.If we want to venture out of our comfort zone,try new things and add to our repertoire then it is necessary to connect with those who are active in those fields.Similarly,those who are aspiring to reach the next level in their profession, will profit hugely by associating with those who are already there.It will hasten their progress.Therefore new friends too,come with many advantages.

Today connectivity and networking make it easy to make new friends and build up contacts.But reaching out to a different set of individuals should be preceded by careful consideration of the group in question as well as our own predilections.We are naturally attracted to those who have qualities which we secretly admire but do not possess.But joining a group vastly different from our temperament is not without it's perils.

Suppose a laid-back person is fascinated by a cluster of ambitious,progressive individuals,and joins them in order to upgrade himself.Will their dynamism rub on to him?Will he become a super achiever?Or will he attempt something for which he is not cut out and fall down with a thud?It is also possible that their achievements and cheery attitude should accentuate his dullness and further erode his self esteem.

When we leave the inner circle to fraternize with a new set of people we should be prepared for all kinds of reactions.It is not necessary that they should all be positively inclined towards us.Some will be curious,some intrusive;some indifferent and some belligerent;some will cooperate and some will be ready to stab your behind.So we will have to be very alert to the vibes emanating from others.It is good,it will sharpen our senses and make us more worldly-wise.

No matter with whom we associate,we mustn't lose our own individuality,however attractive or fetching the other person might be;because then we would lay ourselves open to dominance or exploitation.If the values of our colleagues,acquaintances are different from ours then we will have to insure that our own values are not compromised.It is necessary to set boundaries.

All said and done,old,tried friends are a blessing and a crutch during difficult times;but since their interests, activities and aspirations mostly tally with our own it becomes necessary at a point in life;to fork out,make new connections and learn new skills.A wider circle of peeps enables us to evolve and touch new heights.

Image courtesy google.



32 comments :

  1. A perfect Indu post. Gentle, prodding to think and act. The meaning of 'friends' and friendship has been stood on its head in the times of social media, but thank God for real friendships where we connect, as they say on some level that goes beyond the superficial interests and pastimes. And only those survive the test of time and space.

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    1. Zephyr your generous encouragement always leaves me dumbstruck.I write on my posts,but when it comes to expressing my emotions i am zilch.You know what i mean?Yes,you do.
      Thank you for being you.

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  2. Nice post Indu ji

    Like they say a person is known by the friends he keeps , similarly I have always made it my business to see that neither my children nor my grandson make TOO MANY friends -----nearly always they are a source of distress ---and lastly I have found that my virtual friends have always turned out to be very helpful if and whenever I have needed their help ---there have been instances of us being stranded in their cities and they coming to help even at the dead of night -----so you are lucky if you have a friend who is ready to help you in YOUR NEED

    love and hugs dear friend :)

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    1. Very true Rajni,you will agree that even the virtual friends are not selected at random.Something clicks and a bond is created.
      Love n hugs Rajni.

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  4. Friends, friendship and their impact very well analysed, Indu ma'am! Liked it:) Thank you:)

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  5. A well thought out post Indu. Though we have to adapt ourselves to changing situations and at times try out things that are not within our comfort zone but losing individuality to fit into a group is never a good idea.

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  6. I generally do not find differences in temperament to be detrimental - as in the ambitious vs the laid-back etc. The people I abhor, no matter of what temperament, are the judgmental and the self-righteous, both of which generally go hand-in-hand. That is the lot who can mess you up rather thoroughly, if in nothing else but filling your days with negativity.

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    1. I wonder what shapes our likes and dislikes.For me,it is domineering persons i cannot tolerate.

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    2. Both ,the self-righteous and the dominating kind--they want to gobble up our self respect.

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  7. Friends do play a big role in shaping our lives. This is a wonderful post on the topic.

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    1. Thank you Indrani for this kind comment.

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  8. Beautifully written! Striking the right balance between comfort of old associates and seeking out fresher minds is the ideal situation.

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    1. Thank you Sweety-coming from,you it means a lot.

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  9. very true..I am friendly to a young girl and talking with her makes me realise so many new perspectives and so many times helps also in my relationships..

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    1. Yes,it is refreshing to talk to other age groups than your own.

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  10. Reminded of lines from my favorite poem If

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much

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    1. The poet says it beautifully.
      Thanks for this addition to my post Karthik.

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  11. Wise words! It's so important to remain ourselves even while stretching ourselves and learning new things and new ways of being and seeing! I think what you wrote is interesting and true. I naturally enjoy like minded people, people who are open to possibility and share a sense of humor and a similar way of seeing the world. Yet I notice I gravitate toward culturally different friends, which works where I live as it is an international area. :) I like having a culturally diverse group of people around me but who share interests and the openness to see things from other perspectives. :)

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    1. You have put it so nicely Colleen.Like minded friends are so comfortable,but we do want to get acquainted with others who come from different backgrounds but are not too different.Did i make sense?

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  12. Hmmm :) So much to think about...Like they say, it takes all kinds to make this world. It takes all kinds of friends to fill a person's life. I have friends in all categories. :D. I am survivor I can say. With each, I connect at different levels. At the end, nothing can beat the tried old friends. You can rely on them anytime. :)

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    1. Wow,having friends in all categories means you can adjust very well to different dispositions I admire you for this.

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    2. Hahah....I think rather my tolerance levels are high :D

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  13. So true, Indu. I guess this is why parents worry so much about the company their children keep.

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    1. You must have seen,these days teens give more weightage to peer pressure rather than parental pressure.It is disturbing for the parents.

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Thanks for reading my post.I hope you liked it :).