The other day a few kids were over, I was in the other room when I overheard one of the children claim that they would no longer be the other child’s friend if they did not give them a certain toy. I chuckled to myself. It is rather amusing how we regard friendships when we are young.
Sunday’s Food for the Soul: Are You a TRUE Friend?
While talking to an acquaintance the other day she had made the comment that she wished she had more GREAT friends. That got me thinking; in today’s culture where the main emphasis is the virtual world, do we all hunger, crave a true, great friendship? However great friendships just don’t happen, to have a great friend you need to be a great friend. What kind of a friend are you?
Do you hold others to unrealistic expectations? If the situation was reversed would you be willing to hold yourself to such high standards?
Are you quick to forgive?
Do you give selflessly, without expectations or an IOU?
Do you judge? Do you base friendships on superficial qualities? What kind of car they drive, house they have, status, profession, etc.?
Are you willing to give your undivided attention?
Do you try to make yourself superior? No one wants to feel like an inconvenience.
Do you build the other up?
If there is a problem can you have a conversation and see where each other is coming from? Do you have sympathy and compassion? Are you understanding of each other’s circumstances?
Have you had a friendship that has lasted the tests of time? How do you make certain your friendships thrive? How do you make certain you are a friend that is worth having?
Tuesday’s Tip: Be Aware of Your Influence
Take a moment to sit back and reflect on your life. Ask yourself these questions;
Am I a happy person the majority of the time?
Am I a positive influence on others?
Who or what are the positive influences in my life? (Family, friends, media, music)
To be honest I never really even considered a correlation between the people, media, music, etc. in my life and who I am as a person. Or the impact that my media, music, etc. decision had on my children. Shoot, I thought it was cute when my child started singing Poker Face by Lady Gaga and music in that same genre. That is until I had the opportunity to attend a very inspiring presentation, and it was during that presentation that I had an authentic aha moment!
A couple of years ago at a MOPs meeting two DJs from YES FM gave an amazing presentation about the pest, weeds, and chemicals that can harm your psyche. I am sure you are familiar with the expression, ‘you are what you eat’. Well this presentation addressed the fact that you are what you listen to, watch, and whom you choose to keep company with, mind-blowing right!?!
As we entered the room there was three different items on a table. There was a basket full of fruits and vegetables, a box of Twinkies, and a bottle of Roundup. They began the presentation by explaining that the fruits and vegetables represent the healthy or nutritious media for the soul.
The examples they listed as good, or positive influences were, Veggie Tales, PBS programs, Christian radio (Matte West/Amy Grant), and a few others. When it comes to relationships, the vegetables and fruit represent those that nourish you, the positive and encouraging individuals and relationships. Then attention was directed to the box of Twinkies on the table.
The box of Twinkies represents the media information, music, and relationships that are not necessarily good or positive, but not exactly negative either, but neutral. The examples given were Sponge Bob and family friendly music (The carpenters/Frank Sinatra) and shows. With regard to individuals in your life the box of Twinkies represent the relationships you have with individuals who perhaps focus more on the superficial things in life, while not bad, it isn’t positive either. As they moved down the table and focused their attention on the spray bottle of Roundup they indicated that it, without a doubt, represents the negative or toxic influences in the media, music, and the like.
The examples they gave were MTV, Lady Gaga, violent games, etc. The presentation really struck a nerve with me. I had never realized just how influential even the background music or television shows could be not only to a young child, but me as well. In terms of relationships this is where those individuals who talk about other’s behind their backs, who feel the need to tear other’s down in order to build themselves up, who attack the person as opposed to the issue, who live by motives, games, and manipulation. These are the toxic relationships.
After that presentation I made a conscious effort to only listen to positive, uplifting music in the car and at home. The result was surprising, my mood, as well as the children’s, seemed to be more uplifting. I illustrated more patience with the children and them with each other.
With regard to relationships I feel it is important that we take each person’s situation into consideration and understand that sometimes we have been placed in a relationship with a Twinkie or a Round-up/toxic individual in order to be the positive and encouraging influence. But this can be a slippery slope, be cautious how much time you spend because they can also be influencing you.
So, from time to time take a moment out of your day and reflect on the influences in your life and consider who you are influencing. And always remember that we all have the potential to be a nourishing component in someone’s life or a toxic one, be the veggie in a world filled with Twinkies!