Is it time to do things differently,
or to do different things?
There is a trend in society to haphazardly enter into relationships with no plan, no purpose, and with no intentions. I read a book some years back that said if you take a look at your closest friend's income, you'll be within $5,000 (more or less) of their income as well. Your friend's successes, their clothes, their speech, their thoughts, and beliefs will be the same as your own. The same applies to character, wisdom, and self worth.
As we’ve discussed in prior blogs, to live your best life you must be intentional and this includes your relationships. If you surround yourself with fools, you will be one of them. If you surround yourself with people who praise academia, you will be intellectual, but you might not have any wisdom. If you surround yourself with greedy people, you will be a liar, cheat, and thief. If you surround yourself with addicts and drunks, you will be wasting your life away. The opposite is true as well. If you surround yourself with good hearted people, who are generous, kind, caring, and loving, you will learn how to acquire those things as well. But watching isn’t being. Notice I said, “acquire”? This means you have to work at learning and applying the gifts they offer you. It takes work, courage, and patience to learn how to be a good person. It does’t take much effort at all to learn how to be selfish. Even a baby knows how to do that because it’s in our nature. To gain wisdom you have to fight against the lies of acceptance. To work hard you must fight against laziness. To be honest you must fight against selfishness. To be loving you must fight against indifference. To be fair you must fight against a desire to seek revenge.
The above photo is of a plaque I found on a wall in a BBQ stand in Virginia. It was surrounded by photos of military personnel from all branches and eras in American History. The words written by Marcus Luttrell speak of his conviction, "We were still confident. And we were never going to surrender. If it came down to it, we would fight to the death with our knives against their guns." I don't know who Marcus was or what battle he was fighting, but a man of conviction is a man unstoppable. Anyone surrounded by friends who would fight to the death along side of them, for honorable reasons, is a group of people to be admired. People who will fight against tyranny, unjustness, and to defend others is a beautiful thing. If you want to be surrounded by these types of people, you have to go where they are, do what they do, and embrace the love they embrace. Passion and purpose alone do not make anyone honorable. Honor is knowing who you are and doing the right thing, even when those around you are not.
As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.