Personal Growth

What about your friends?

March 23, 2017

Friends. Who and what would we be without them? It depends on the friends. Some will provide a fortifying support that helps us grow and live good lives. Others… Well, there are some we will have to let go, and few explain that fact in a way that makes sense.

Many of us are embarking on life paths very different than our families and friends. We’re leaving the ‘hood and moving into neighborhoods in the ‘burbs and downtown. We’re moving into environments nothing like what we experienced growing up.

I think about all of the new men and women entering the field of professional sports. Many are receiving paychecks larger than their families received in a lifetime. It can be overwhelming, and it can be tempting. Some of these athletes will choose to take care of their families and their friends. Why? Survivor’s guilt. They’ll do it because they feel obligated. After all, they made it out, and the others are left behind.

Who wants to leave anyone behind? Seems rather cold, doesn’t it?

It would seem cold to someone who does abides by a few unwritten rules of loyalty. The ‘ride or die’ kind of rules.

The problem is ‘ride or die’ isn’t exactly logical as it pertains to loyalty. It’s like that thing parents pull out of their handbook. “If your friends jump off the bridge, are you going to jump too?” However it goes. You know what I mean. Will you ride so hard for your friends that you’re willing to die?

Most likely, no.

Still, there’s this thing that rises up in us who are first generation college graduates and professionals that makes us want to look out for the friends of our youth. The unfortunate thing is we end up living an inconvenient life trying to take care of them and ourselves.

You’ve read the stories in the news. Some new athletes ride or die so hard with their friends, they end up going to jail and/or going broke. It’s the same story with their families. It’s heart-breaking.

Those are the people who didn’t like their loyalties challenged. They didn’t want anyone to think less of them. They didn’t want anyone to think they’d turned their backs on them.

The pressure to maintain those loyalties is deep.

This is a series of posts about growing and knowing. This blog can teach you everything you need to know about good manners and social skills, but it will fail miserably if we do not address the things no one sees under your surface, and in your heart.

In the meantime, think about your friends. Who are they?

photo credit: jaumescar Notting Hill Carnival 2016 via photopin (license)

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