REGRET AS A LESSON

Regrets are often taken as something negative. Of course, when you regret something you feel extremely negative about the situation. But the fact that you regret a particular decision or situation is positive because you have accepted it and you are trying to move on from it. Regret is what comes out of strong introspection which is always a good thing. The question is how far are you willing to go to correct what has gone wrong? When you really take a decision to correct the situation, getting over the regret is easy.

When I started to think about writing this snippet, I was quite blank for some time and thinking hard made me realize that there is no strong regret that I feel currently. That doesn’t mean that I have never regretted anything in my life. I have had lots of regrets – I just chose to get over them with time. So, let me share one of the strongest decisions that I feel went bad.

I chose wrong people as friends and even when I realized that they are not the right people – I did not have the courage to give them up. I could not stand up for my own self esteem in front of them and I let them step all over me. There is nothing in my life that has made me feel so horrible ever. These people were my colleagues in my previous job and only a few months after I quit that job, did I realize what I was into was a complete disaster in the name of friendship. I felt cheated to the core. It was difficult to get over that regret. It haunted me for months and years; even now sometimes I feel horrible thinking what a fool I had been.

Well, what is done is done. I know where I made my mistake and what I need to take care of in future. I have moved on from who I was then to (I think) a much wiser person now. It gives me all the more strength when I think about that time. It makes me value my real friends all the more.  The whole episode made me a much stronger, emotionally independent and wiser person.

PROVERBS ON FRIENDS & FRIENDSHIP

The book of Proverbs is my favourite in regards to learning about practical life. The book of Proverbs also talks about Friends and Friendship. I have given different titles to each quote or similar types of quotes from the book of proverbs which I want to share with you all as under:

Friendship is a Necessity 

“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.”

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”

Choosing the Right Friend is Important

“A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

“Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man, Or you will learn his ways And find a snare for yourself.”

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Maintaining A Friendship/Relationship

“He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.”

“A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends.”

“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.”

Keep reading and keep learning…

Stay Blessed!!!

CAN WE BE JUST FRIENDS?

I believe friendship is just like a coin which has two sides. One is “LOVE” & the other side is “HOLINESS.” Love & Holiness are intrinsic of all relationships. None of our relationships can grow, if we are lacking any one of the two in our relationships.

In this 21st century when we think friendship is never possible between the persons of opposite sex then we need to know that we have narrowed our mindset and have reversed it for the sake of materialistic pleasure.

Today 90% of friendships between the persons of opposite sex are ending up with sex on bed. The consequences of this narrow mindset are many broken relationships and corrupted societies.

Even today it has become very difficult for persons of opposite sex to work together as employees at their marketplaces. Often our parents doubt when we make friendships with the persons of opposite sex. It has become harder and harder to find a good & pure friendship between two persons of opposite sex though there are still some beautiful friendships are seen.

We lack pure friendships between the persons of opposite sex. I will give an example from my life where my friendship with a girl also went elsewhere which I didn’t intend to.

I have a closest of friends who is a girl for last two years. As our friendship started & days passed by, intimacy between us became strong; we started sharing ideas, suggestions, personal matters and a lot more.  Being friends with same belief and faith we also became prayer partners. But one evening as we were on an intimate talk over the phone my friend (she) asked me a very sensitive question, “Do you love me?” And I answered her, yes I do but not like a lover but as a friend. I love you because you are a true friend of mine, which is well described in Greek term as “Philia.” She understood me and we are still very good friends up till now.”

Friendship never means hanky-panky & just hangouts. It is a strong inclination between two people irrespective of sex, status & soundarya (beauty) and the foundation of which is LOVE & HOLINESS.

Can we say? “I have been blessed to have you as a friend!”

God bless you. Stay in touch.

Avinash Das

 

A FRIEND WHO STICKS CLOSER THAN A BROTHER

We usually have our tagged ‘BEST’ friends. But I really don’t have best friends as such as I have a huge friend circle all over the world. I love them all and they love me too.

During my college time, I had a friend whom I consider to be the most valuable friend of my life. He was a friend in my need and was a friend indeed. I had never stood in the queue for either renewing my college bills or asking for any receipts in the counter and books from the library.  I never had to do anything as he was there for me and was doing everything for me considering my health conditions.

I used to feel amazed thinking, how great is God’s grace for me throughout my college career. He had kept an angel in the form of my friend even as His spiritual angels keep guarding me in the daily chores of my life.

My friend used to drop me as well as pick me up from my home. At times, we even used to go to tuition together. He had been such a blessing to me that I really cannot explain in words. We had many memories together. We had shared our joys and sorrows together. We had to part with each other after we graduated as we chose different universities though we didn’t lose contact with each other.

Finally, a time came when we lost connection as we started working in different places far away from our homes. But there’s one incident that I will never forget in my whole life which I think I should share it with you all.

In 2005, I had a credit in a shop which I was unable to pay at that time or had planned to pay later. But I became seriously ill that time and was taken to the hospital in Bangalore. I was discharged from the hospital and was taken to my parents’ home in Cuttack. I was on leave and in rest for 5 months.

I was informed that the shopkeeper is asking for money. I told my wife about it and we were in jeopardy, thinking what to do.

Finally, I had to take a loan from my friend and paid the man in full. But the irony was my debt was still on me as I had to return the money to my friend. I struggled to pay it back as I was newly married that time and had spent so much on my medical bills. I asked for some more time though he never reminded me of his loan to me.

It was a burden which troubled me whenever I thought about the unpaid loan. Once when I called him for more time, he replied to me sternly, “If you remind me of the loan again then we won’t be friends anymore… Just forget about it and I don’t want the money back anymore…”

Till now when I discuss that incident with my wife we feel grateful to God for giving such a friend in my life who had been a help in the times of trouble. It is really difficult to find a friend like him in this world today. The loan is still unpaid but it is not hovering over me like a burden but is stored in my heart as a bond of friendship.

I remember this Bible verse in Proverbs 18:24 which says – 

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

He is my most valued friend, who did stick to me like a brother when I was in trouble.

ARE YOU CAREFUL OF PEER PRESSURE?

Peers are the children or youth of same age. Age-mates who provide a supportive network for the children or youth are called peer-group. The influence of the peer group that pressurizes a child or a youth to behave in a certain way is called ‘peer pressure’. Friends play important roles in the normal development of a child or adolescent.

When youngsters grow older, they face challenges in making decisions. Some don’t have a clarity regarding right or wrong answers and other decisions that involve serious moral questions. Making decisions on one’s own is hard but when the peer group get involved and try to pressurize the youth in decision-making, it can be even harder.  It is always important for the youth to know their friends, the pressures they put and the skills required to handle them.

Friendships or peer pressure can be negative or positive and can be handled properly by individuals according to their own value system. For example, if a youngster has proper knowledge of what is right or wrong, then he/she can recognize the negative friend or peer pressure and avoid it or allow the positive peer pressure to influence. Our value system does play a major role in handling the pressures from the friends but sometimes despite of our value system, youth find it difficult to say ‘No’ to negative peer pressure. In this case the youth need to learn few skills to say ‘No’ to peer pressure, which has negative influence on them. The skills are as follows –

  1. Be strong in Decision-Making: It is always important to take decisions that your value system approves of. Listen to your conscience. Never take decisions with excitement or emotion. Lean not on your own understanding but prayerfully wait on the Lord while taking decisions.

 

  1. Listen to advice: Proverbs 8:33 says, ‘Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.’ Proverbs 19:20 says, ‘Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.’ Proverbs 4:1 says, ‘Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.’ So never despise the instructions or advice of elders.

 

  1. Confide everything with one of the family members: Ecclesiastes 4:9 says ‘Two are better than one; (because they have a good reward for their labour.’) Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, ‘And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.’ So it is always better to confide with someone before taking any step, so that he/she can advise you or help you when you are in trouble.

 

  1. Learn to say ‘NO’: Proverbs 19:27 says, ‘Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.’ Do not think that if you say ‘NO’ then it will affect your friendship. If it affects, let it affect. You can win back that friendship again. But if you listen to a wrong influence then later guilt will keep on tormenting you forever.

 

  1. Stay away: As it is written in 2 Timothy 2:22, ‘Flee also youthful lusts.’ Many times it is difficult to say ‘NO’ and at this time fleeing away or staying away from the situation or bad friends is always better. Proverbs 3:7 says, ‘be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.’ 1 Timothy 6:11 says, ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.’ Keep the good influence on always, which will help you to stay away from evil influence.

“Studies indicate that youth with strong family ties tend to rely less on friends and more on family members for advice and guidance; those without strong family ties tend to rely more heavily on friends to provide self-esteem.”

So, young friends! My earnest request is keep the relationship with your family members so strong that you won’t have to rely on your friends while taking decisions. Please involve them in your business. Remember! You are precious for them.