Friday, November 2, 2007

Grossmuter said it!!!

"Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are." I was maybe 12 and living in Hamilton, Ontario. when she said those words. That was 1946.
I was hanging out with a great group of friends and a couple of the boys had been in reform school. We got into little troubles like cutting through back yards and stealing apples off trees. But my grandmother after some incident said this too me as dire warning as to where I was headed. One of those boys saved me from a terrible beating by a bully who I challenged because he was picking on a smaller boy. I was on the ground being booted when he came around the corner just by chance. I was screaming in pain. I watched him grab my assailant by the pants and shirt collar and throw him right up in the air and into the middle of the road. And then he picked me up in his arms and carried me three blocks home. It remains one of the kindest acts anyone ever did for me.
Lately, for the last about 15 years, I have thought more and more about the idea of Friend and extended my grandmothers statement beyond the idea of human Friend. For me the idea, "Friend", has evolved to mean anything that I embrace, whether it is the food I eat or the music I listen to, the books I read or the politics I tout. And that is just a start of the idea and the importance of personal Friends for these Friends are in my brain and body define me. If I hate some person or group it defines me. If I follow the lurid details of a murder trial or watch only movies of violence or a SWAT team lock-downing down a street and having a shoot out, it pervades my thinking until I can become fearful and wary of people around me and become defensive in my thoughts and actions. I think this isolates me and so I steer clear of those kinds of programs as continual inputs. CNN from my point of view gets everyone crazy with fears and like the first news papers and those today as well, thrives on the disaster and news that has negative connotations. So Friend is what we put into our minds and dwell on, and export to others as to who we are. We all have choices about these things if we are aware and take a few moments to review our thinking. Examine if you will who we are. Just like changing your food intake from a high starch diet to something else to lose weight. so we can change what we are thinking about in the front of our consciousness if we choose all our Friends. I can get obsessed sometimes by input that I really don't think helps me be the person I want to be and maybe this happens to you too. Look at yourself and see what is dominating your own thoughts and ask is this how I want to define myself. How I want myself and others to think about me.

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