I am not the same person I was at 40, 30, 20 or 10 for that matter. While my values have never changed, what is important to me has.
In my world, which is different to the person sitting next to me, I have many choices. When I was 40, my heart ruled, and I accepted more. I tried not to judge people by the way they live their lives and tapped in and out of different worlds. It served a purpose but lacked substance, because quite often I was accepting other people that didn't share my values.
I always say "good manners never go out of fashion" and it's one of the truest statements to ever exist. I can safely say that "good manners" have always remained my core, and I do tend to surround myself mostly with people who are the same. If they are not, soon enough, I move them on by exiting their environment.
We all make mistakes. That's a fact. We all have things that have happened in our lives that we rather not have happened. However, right now, I'm safely in the place where I should be, and for that I am very happy.
Something that I don't turn a blind eye to:
- Criminals in circles that may be entertaining, but you know through talk that they do things that are illegal, immoral and not right;
- Drug users and alcoholics: they don't fit in my life and I can't turn a blind eye to that behaviour;
- Liars, bullies, fakes;
- People that are blasted in the newspaper for dishonest or criminal activity;
- People that haven't learnt what a good person actually looks like;
- Self promoters who do so because they don't like who they are.
This list is powerful. It is life changing. I see pictures of parties of high profile people, business people etc., with these types of people littered through their social photos and it makes me wonder, "what type of person are they that they think that these things are fine to turn a blind eye to?" In fact, those people who turn a blind eye, no longer sit in my circle. I am polite and respectful, but you will never see me attend a party with any of the above at it with my knowledge.
Who you surround yourself with, is who you are. You cannot escape the truth. While I have in the past turned a blind eye, I have realised that life isn't about the next party, nor is it about being liked. It is simply about liking yourself and doing everything in your power to make the world a better place.
So, I do a number of things:
- Criminals don't get a lookin ever;
- Drug users and alcoholics, if they are close enough, I have the conversation and quite often offer to pay for them to go to rehab;
- Liars and bullies, I move swiftly away from, never to mention their names, nor let them occupy my mind;
- Focus heavily on #kindness and #giving. Each day I do something kind to someone I don't know, and when I walk past a homeless person, I empty my wallet;
- Self promoters have their own issues, but they are vacuous by design. Let them work that out themselves.
Having quality conversations with good people, about topics that are thought provoking, life changing or just because it is a way of sharing part of yourself gives great meaning to life. Those people that are privy to these conversations, are the people 'in your circle' and they mean something to you.
If you always remember that the people you surround yourself with, define who you are and what your values are, you will start living a more honest, true life with greater meaning.
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