Choice of friends

நிறைநீர நீரவர் கேண்மை பிறைமதிப்

பின்நீர பேதையார் நட்பு.

The friendship of the wise waxes like the new moon, but that of the fool wanes like the full moon. Kural 782

The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26

How often have we realised about the toxic nature of certain relationships, where the people we call besties tear down our confidence and make us feel small. It might be unintentional, but callousness is also a type of cruelty. But we often choose to hang out with these type of friends, despite the negative effect for popularity of external appearance and this destroys us bit by bit. We start saying and doing things which are out of character for us. Peer pressure can destroy us, if we are not careful abot our choice of friends.

I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate the few genuine friends I do have. The test of a real friend is time and the good ones stand by you through fire and brimstone. These are the friends who have supported me through all my stupid decisions, stuck by during the bad times, called me out when I was behaving like an idiot. These are the people who have built me up and I can only hope they feel the same way about me.

We take so much time to decide on our life partner, rightfully so. I feel that atleast a fraction of that should go into the process of choosing our friends. The old adage of show me your friend and I will tell you who you are is true. In this age where most friendships are made online special care should be taken before trusting someone and calling them a friend. I hope and pray God gives me the wisdom and discernment to chose friends carefully and also to cherish the ones I already have.

Knowledge and wisdom

கற்க கசடறக் கற்பவை கற்றபின்
நிற்க அதற்குத் தக. 391

Let a man learn thoroughly whatever he may learn, and let his conduct be worthy of his learning.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

We often use knowledge and wisdom interchangeably. But without wisdom, knowledge is pointless. It simply means you are aware of that particular item. But implementing that in real life is a whole other ballgame. For example I know exercise is good and I know all the various benefits of it. But to wake up early and actually doing the said exercise….. So all that knowledge is of no use. This applies to all walks in life.

My boss from 5 yrs ago was an example of a doer. He believed in punctuality, honesty,equality and giving his best. He didnot talk at length about it, didnot put himself on a pedestal for doing any of those. He just DID and in doing so he inspired us all to do the same. There are not many like him.

As Christians, we have a God who loved everyone without judging. Do we do that or do we judge instead of loving. It is not our duty to decide what is right and wrong, but to follow the foremost commandment of all “to love your neighbour as you love yourself”. Having said that we’re only human. The instinct is to categorise everyone as good and bad. It has taken me all these years to realise that just like me everyone has a good side and a bad side. Let us together make a pact today to try and look at the good in evryone and appeal to that side rather than focussing on the bad. Let us see if doing this will change our home or work environment for the better.

If it does change for the better maybe we can call ourselves ” the wise women / men”

Giving

வறியார்க்கொன்று ஈவதே ஈகைமற் றெல்லாம்
குறியெதிர்ப்பை நீர துடைத்து- குறள் 221

To give to the destitute is true charity. All other gifts have the nature of a measured return.

If you lend to those from whom you expect to recieve, what credit is that for you?- Luke 6:34

The act of giving or sharing is beneficial to both parties. The benefits the the person recieving is quite obvious. But how is genorosity benifit the giver. I had this conversation very recently with my friend and I was surprised by the number of things gained by sharing our time, finances wisdom etc.

If we look at the more apparent aspects- benefits, popularity, loyalty and acclaim are a few that come to mind. Don’t we often make these the purpose of giving. So many times I have thought ” I have done so much for him/ her and he/she can’t even do this little thing for me”. So though in my mind I had thought I was giving/ sharing, in reality I had just put out a loan and am expecting repayment. All of us are guilty of this at some point. We lose out on so much when we do this.

What happens when we share with someone who can never repay us back. The the act is an end in itself. There seems to be no profit in that for us. But the kural and the Bible seem to strongly recommend that. And science has finally caught on with that age old wisdom. An article from cleaveland clinic states that giving lowers blood pressure, increases self-esteem, reduces depression, lowers stress levels and increases happiness and satisfaction. Hence giving increases the overall life expectancy. I believe in the current scenario of COVID and all the other bad news coming in, we need this.

So let us give freely of our time, love etc and bring that tiny bit of goodness into the world.

Domestic virtues

எந்நன்றி கொன்றார்க்கும் உய்வுண்டாம் உய்வில்லை
செய்ந்நன்றி கொன்ற மகற்கு.

Who every good have killed, may yet destruction flee. Who benefit has killed, that man shall never escape free- Kural 110

Dont ever forget kindness & truth. Wear them like a necklace. Write them on your heart as if on a tablet. Proverbs 3:3

Kindness and grace is what makes our world turn. Today I learnt about the needs of us humans. What we work for; what makes us turn; what makes us do what we do. In progressive order they are physiological needs ( food, water, sleep), safety ( roof over our heads), love and self esteem. When all of thisis met, we reach our full potential news become a wholesome person.

To achieve all of this we are dependant on the kindness of strangers in one way or another, just as someone else is dependant on us to achieve their full potential. The point being, we are always happy when we are a unit, and a kind and gracious unit at that.

So what happens when we forget about the kindness shown to us. What happens when we act selfish and thankless. What happens when we continue to draw on another person’s kindness. Do we expect that to last forever. Sooner or later the person will give up on us and we are the ones losing out because of this. And when a society is thankless, it leads to their destruction. If we can draw some wisdom from the Bible, the thanklessness of the Israelites delayed the actualization of God’s promise.

Let us learn to never forget the kindness of God and men towards us and let us be kind towards all. And in doing this let us make this world a better place 1 act at a time.