If you have read any of my previous posts, you know that I grew up in a rural area. I had fields on three sides of me. My closest neighbor was across the main road. My house sat on roughly five acres. Let me tell you, it was a lot of fun mowing that yard on Saturdays!
I road the bus to school. I remember watching out the window to see when the bus was picking up my friend. Once he was picked up, I had a few minutes to get down to the end of my driveway so I could be picked up.
The bus ride was typically uneventful. However, it would take a little bit of time. One of the hiccups of living in a rural areas is that the houses are not built right on top of each other. They are spread out. Which translated into a longer ride.
Being in a rural setting, we had several farms around us. The fields would be filled with a cornucopia of crops – corn, soybeans, wheat, milo, and sometimes just weeds as the field rested a year. Every once and awhile you would come across a farmer who did not just grow crops, he raised livestock too – cattle and pigs.
On those hot spring bus rides to school, we would pass the farms in which livestock found their home. Well, to be completely honest, we could always tell when we were getting close to said farms. You see, there was a certain calling card that would fill the air sometimes miles before you ever saw the animals. This calling card was there to tell you “Hi Farmer So & So’s farm is right around the corner, be sure to say ‘Hi’ to the pigs.” If you were raised in an area similar to mine, you know that smell all too well.
This odor was not just kind enough to tickle your nose while you were close to the animals. It had this wonderful way of attaching itself to you and your clothes. This way you could savor it later. It would often times take run through the laundry and a shower to be freed from its clutches.
How does this apply to your friends, you ask? The friends you hang out with, just like the smell of farms, leave an impression on you. I have often told my kids to look at their closest friends and that will give you a glimpse of the person you will become.
If you hang around healthy people, chances are you will be healthier. If you hang around wealthy people, chances are you will find ways to increase your income. If you hang around cynics, chances are you will become cynical.
I think you get my point. The people you associate with will impact your thoughts and how you live your life. If you find yourself wanting a change, maybe you should do an inventory of your friends. Are there people you hang out with that discourage and drag you down? Are there people you hang out with who inspire and lift you up?
After I would leave those odorous farms, I would need to clean up. A shower and clean clothes would do the trick. And if you want to change your life, maybe you need to wash away some of those relationship that are leaving an unpleasant odor in your life. And seek out some new ones, that will fit just like a set of clean clothes.