“Be slow to fall into friendships, but when you are in them, continue to be firm and constant.”
Every now and then, I will talk to someone with a little more life experience under their belt than I do, and when it comes to relationships, especially with friends, the message centres around ‘show me your friends and I will show you who you are’.
Some other variations of this message that seem to pop up a lot are: ‘you are the sum of the people you spend the most time with’. This saying seems to gain more weight behind it with each passing year. In a world that is becoming more open, yet increasingly close when it comes to interpersonal relationships, it is becoming easier to make friends but harder to maintain and grow them.
In a world where communication mostly takes place through various media and platforms like social media and electronically, everyone is easily accessible and reachable; thus, it becomes easier to strike up friendships, especially among the youth.
However, as we have learned through the years, not all friendships last the course and not all turn out to be healthy. People, especially the youth, have very little issues about jumping into friendships with anyone at first sight – often to their own detriment or, as in many cases, they start friendships that have the potential to be great but because of a lack of effort or maybe interest, that relationship hardly matures past acquaintanceship.
On the flip side of the coin, some friendships are properly nurtured and maintained, but it is mostly at a great cost – sometimes even at a gravely cost to one of those involved. As an individual, one should be responsible for their actions, as their actions and behaviour will, by default, reflect on them.
It is a humbling experience when one finds out that their friends are an extension of them – that their (in)actions will somehow also end up reflecting on them. The aim is to ensure your friends or people you associate with are not involved in any unscrupulous activity that could come back to bite you in the near future.
As a scholar of life, I always try to heed the advice of those who have experienced and seen much more than I have. When it comes to making friends, be slow to get in one but once you are there, be firm and constant in it.
- Olavi Popyeinawa Email: email@example.com Twitter: olavi@olavipopyeinawa