We must make thousands of decisions a day. Some good, some bad, some with life long consequences or unexpected joys. My daughter decided to not walk with her high school graduation class last Friday night. She has attended her school since she was in kindergarten, so for me, the decision was a sad one. But for her the decision came easy because she didn’t feel like was part of her high school community. Her “friends” weren’t very kind to her and left her out of the very anticipated senior trip. I just don’t understand. How can a group of “friends” not include one of their own? Didn’t anyone think about how they would feel if it had been them? I remember the days of going to the beach for senior week or spring break with friends. These were fun times, time to bond with friends outside of school and time to begin to test the waters of being on our own.
My heart breaks for my daughter as all the Facebook posts of kids at the airport flying off to Koh Samui. You see, gone are the days of going two hours by car to the beach. Here in Hong Kong the senior trip is done differently. We live a pretty privileged life here in Hong Kong. We are so blessed with beautiful views of oceans and lush green mountains, we have the opportunity to mix with over 40 nationalities at our K-12 American curriculum based school, most families are able to travel around the region and experience even more cultures and do service in many of Asia’s poorer areas. Most of us do all of this by sacrificing living in our home country and being near family. An expats friends become their family. I know teen’s brains still aren’t fully developed at this age, but it doesn’t take much to be kind and do the right thing.
Regardless if you are a teen or an adult picking friends can sometimes be hard. I love Andy Stanley’s 6 part series called Guardrails. The series is about having a guardrail in all areas of your life; friendships, finances, your marriage, etc. Being close to the wrong people usually starts at a young age. Remember how your parents used to freak out about some of your friends? They may have even moved houses or switched you to another school to get you away from friends that were a bad influence. My mom sometimes freaked out and now I have even freaked out. Why? Because friends affect the direction and quality of our life.
Friends are great, but when we are with them we are at our most comfortable and tend to drop our guard. Of course we drop our guard, we want to be accepted and not rejected. And when we are accepted unconditionally by friends that can lead to unwanted influences. Here are Andy Stanley’s tips for friendship:
1. Your conscience should light up when you realize your core group isn’t moving in the direction you want your life to be moving. Do you friend’s values differ from yours?
2. Your conscience should light up when you catch yourself pretending to be someone other than who you really are. Do you pretend when you are with a certain friend group?
3. Your conscience should light up when you feel pressure to compromise. Do you start considering behavior with certain friend groups that you have always said were off limits?
4. Your conscience should light up when you say “I’ll go, but I won’t participate.” Are you in the proximity of friends who are drinking too much, are starting rumors, or are making bad financial decisions?
5. Your conscience should light up when you hope the people you care about most don’t find out where you’ve been or who you’ve been with. Do you need to create a defense or an excuse about what you did last night?
Did you answer yes to any of these question? Put some guardrails in your life and don’t be a companion of fools!
Here is the link to the full you tube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqly7PiEy0o[/embed]
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm Proverbs 13:20
This is my sister’s recipe for a great, refreshing summertime drink
Simple syrup (equal parts of sugar and water)
4 limes, halved
1. Put 1/2 C of sugar and 1/2 C water in a pan and dissolve sugar, set aside
2. Using a handheld wooden juicer or a fork squeeze lime and pulp into each glass
3. Add 5 T of syrup to each glass
4. Fill glasses with ice and top with soda
5. Stir and enjoy. Add more syrup to taste