THE COMPANY THAT YOU KEEP
I seriously think: when we choose our friends, we, also, choose our ‘climate’!
Yes, our friends – the company that we keep – create our climate!
And, you know how important the climate is for our well-being!
So many parents come to me to discuss about the progress of their young-ones. Many find it difficult to accept that their young-children – who were all along doing so well – now, are sliding down miserably. “No, this was not the case before,” they cry… “We fail to understand, why he/she lies,”… “We don’t know, what has happened to him/her!”… “We don’t know where he/she goes bunking college/classes!”… “We are scared, what may happen!”…
And, then, invariably they have some friend to blame!
“It is because of him/her…”
“So many times, we have told our son/daughter to keep off from ‘that’ one!”…
“They have spoilt our son/daughter!”…
These parents are right. They are wrong, too.
Right because, as the old saying goes, “If you lie down with dogs, you WILL get up with fleas!”
Wrong because, no one can compel you to lie down with dogs… You ‘choose’ to!
Hence, blaming ‘dogs’ for the ‘fleas’ all over our body, now, doesn’t help us, in any way.
The best thing we can do, even now, is to avoid lying down with ‘dogs’ anymore…
And, see how we can do amends…
In life, it is never too late to do amends… The heart has the capacity to change at any age…
Of course, the earlier, the better.
I am telling this to the young-ones.
And, I tell to the parents, who come and complain about some ‘poisonous’ friends, this:
“We all have been ‘teens’ once… We all have had our friends… some good, some bad… some, even, extremely poisonous. And, the good news is that… we have survived!”
I ask them to look back upon their own friends-circle… “Come on, don’t tell me ‘We never had such friends’ or ‘Our times were different’…”
I make them realize that it is only a ‘difficult phase’ of growth for their young-ones… I tell them not to lose faith in their children, nor to over-react with gloom and bitterness.
I tell them, “If you learn to handle your own fears,
you can help your young-one handle
I add, “The more your child sees you ‘reacting’,
the lesser ready he/she is for change.”
So, first thing first: “Stop blaming someone else for your child’s condition. Don’t forget that there are many out there who blame ‘you’ – the parent – for your child’s condition. So, you don’t have to blame yourself, either. Just focus on one thing: How can I learn to ‘communicate’ with my young-one, without reacting, without condemning, without losing hope and faith…That’s the new climate you can create for your young-one to change…The climate of new bond, new friendship… It is slow; but, it is certain to bring forth the desired change…”
For ages, as young-ones, all of us had found our friends dearer than our parents… And, it shall always be so, for ages to come!
Yes, there had been times in our lives, when we have lied down with ‘dogs’… and found fleas all over us…
But, then, that had been only a passing phase…
We have survived, superbly!
And, therefore, I would like to tell all the worried parents this, today:
“Take heart; your young-one, too, WILL!”
Pics.: Mehul Bhuva