Thursday, January 21, 2016


Pic.: Usha Prasadh

Both in my classes as well as in our PD sessions, I keep reminding our young-ones, “Look, if you lie down with dogs, you will rise up with fleas.” It is the blunt way of reminding them, “Look, the birds of the same feather flock together.”

In life, we tend to get attracted to those people who have our own habits and characteristics… The simple example is this: If I like to smoke, I like to be in the company of those who smoke… If I like to drink, I like to be in the company of those who drink… Taking it slightly further, if I am a chronic cribber, I like to associate myself with cribbers… On the other hand, if I like to exercise, run marathon, go hiking and attend life-enhancing Workshops, I am drawn to those who have similar inclinations…

Yes, Like attracts Like… Though they say “the opposites attract,” I think, it is so only less frequently. What we see frequently around us is: The positives attract positives and the negatives attract negatives…

I had a pleasant surprise in my inbox, last night. A lady, who I had the privilege of teaching years ago, who is now well-settled in the US, wrote to me this:

A friend sent me this and I wanted to share with you… I am so glad to be ‘associated’ with you after all these years and despite living so far away.

Just thought of you while reading the words of Swami Vivekananda in his explanation for the meaning of ‘Association’…

“The raindrop from the sky:
if it is caught in hands, it is pure enough for drinking.

If it falls in a gutter, its value drops so much
that it can’t be used even for washing the feet.

If it falls on a hot surface, it perishes.

If it falls on a lotus leaf, it shines like a pearl…
and, finally, if it falls on an oyster, it becomes a pearl.

The drop is same, but its existence and worth
depend on with whom it associates.”

Always be associated with people who are good at heart.''

Yes, it is Swamiji’s way of reminding us:

“Look, if you lie down with dogs, you will rise up with fleas.”


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