“He who regards himself only, and enters upon friendships for this reason, reckons wrongly… These are the so-called “fair-weather” friendships; one who is chosen for the sake of utility will be satisfactory only so long as he is useful… He who begins to be your friend because it pays will also cease because it pays.”
“Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
Instagram, Facebook, Reality TV on every aspect of life: It seems as if modern society and social media are conspiring to constantly point out to me how little I have or have achieved in comparison to others. But who cares? Why should I care?
There will always those who are more accomplished than I in arts, relationships, knowledge, and any other aspect of life. However, that is their accomplishments, their lives – what is it to me other than an observation? I strive to concern myself with my accomplishments, my growth, my development, and gain satisfaction through what I have gained from my efforts.
To compare myself to others in terms of what they have is a fool’s game. Possessions and positions are temporary – regardless of what you have or who you are, all lives end the same, and as the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.”
Instead, I compare myself to those I think worthy, in terms of who they are or were, and how they lived their lives. The lessons of what they did, how they thought, and how they acted or reacted to adversity, are far more valuable to me than any physical possession or circumstance.
History is filled with role models, if you open your eyes to look for them. To deny what they did, and the teachings that they provided, simply because they do not align to moderns concepts of equity (including the injustice called “social justice”) is ludicrous. Those who actively work to suppress or deny history because it does not agree with their views, are displaying an evil within them that is far greater than any transgression of those they are attempting to suppress.
We all have good and bad within us, and have made good choices and bad, even those we would consider as great men or women. I will not deny their accomplishments and wisdom because they lived in different times with different cultures and standards, or them when they made choices I disagree with in one aspect of their lives while achieving greatness in another. However, I do not need to emulate their lifestyles in order to learn their wisdom and adapt it to my life.
Those who are promoted as role models in the media due to their current celebrity, position or possessions are the true “fair weather friends”. All that they are is simply “dust in the wind”, and after their passing few will even remember that they existed, if they do not fade from the social conscience while they are yet alive. Those who have stood the test of time are better role models to learn from and emulate.