Heather Red Feather slams that ball. I know for certain she is the kind of friend who aids in virtue.
A few Sundays ago I shared this Cicero quote with you, “Nature gave us friendship, as an aid to virtue, not as a companion to vice.”
I have been thinking about this quote quite a bit. I interpret it to mean that our friends should make us better, not make us worse. Ideally, our friends encourage us to be our best selves. Friends encourage us to make healthy lifestyle choices. If you are trying to quit smoking, or reduce how much you drink, or go to the gym, or cook your own food, or eliminate processed carbs, or stop eating sugar, your friends should be encouraging you on that path. If you declare your intentions, a good friend will help you make good decisions, not belittle you or make fun of your choices. A good friend is one who respects your choices and doesn't say negative things about your choices even if they're "only joking." Really? Only joking? If someone is making fun of your lifestyle it's not a joke. It's not passive aggressive. It's disrespectful, mean, and it's aggressive. There's nothing passive about shaming you for your choices.
I think the people around us who shame, joke, or comment on our lifestyle choices do so because our choices put theirs front and center. It's human nature to compare ourselves to others, and especially so to our friends. But comparing ourselves to others is an invitation to suffer and be sad. Who want's to live in that world? I don't!
Once of the hardest things we can do in this life is to choose to be or not to be friends with certain people. It may sound harsh and disloyal, but if your friends don't help you be a better person, why are you friends? How does the friendship serve you? How does it serve them?
It's not unusual when you do CrossFit, count your macros, limit your alcohol, choose sleep over partying for your non-CrossFit friends to question what the hell you're doing. And, if after you explain to them the value of your choices for your health and well-being, and explain that your choices don't need to be their choices, and they still joke, belittle and demean your choices, ask yourself if they're an aid to your virtue or a companion to your vice.
I'd love to know how you interpret this quote. Do you agree with Cicero? Should your friends be an aid to your virtue and not a companion to your vice? Share with me your comments.
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