A popular proverb is “Show Me Your Friends and I will Show You Your Future.” The people with whom we associate plays an important role in shaping our thoughts and our life.
Take the example of Kaikeyi, she loved Lord Rama more than her own life. But she associated with Manthara, an evil-minded lady. And the association made her so contaminated that she developed hatred for Lord Rama.
Mrugrari was a hunter. He was so cruel that he used to enjoy killing animals and seeing them die. But he got the association of sage Narada. The association transformed him so much that later he was careful to not harm even an ant.
Hippies in the western countries were indulging in all sorts of sinful activities. But by associating with Srila Prabhupada they got totally transformed. They gave up all sinful habits and began leading a pure life.
So, we should be extremely careful in choosing the people with whom we associate with. If we associate with those who are impure in their habits, we will also develop bad habits. But if we associate with people who are pure in their habits, are self-controlled then we will become like them.
If as a student, we want to excel in our academics then we should spend time with students who spend most of their time in studies and are controlled enough to not get distracted.
If we want to be successful in our profession, then we should spend our quality time with those who are sincere in their work.
If we want to be happy in our life, then we should surround ourselves with happy people.
If we want to give up habits like smoking and drinking, then we should always seek the company of those who do not drink or smoke.
If we want to give up addiction to social media, to political news, to watching movies then we should associate with people who do not indulge in these time-wasting habits.
If we want to grow in our spiritual life, then we should seek the association of devotees who are sincere and focused in their spiritual journey.
So, let us ask ourselves - Who are our friends? Who are the people with whom we spend good amount of our time?
Their thoughts, their beliefs have a great impact in our life. So, we should choose our friends carefully.
Choosing friends should not be a matter of chance but should be a matter of choice. And our choice should be based on our values and principles based on which we want to live. It will determine our destiny.
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(Purushottam Nitai Das is a member of congregation at Iskcon Kolkata. He works at IBM as an Advisory Consultant. He writes at https://discoverursupersoul.com/)
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