“A friend is a gift you give yourself.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
When you want to make your money grow, you check out investment options. What amount do you need to invest and what will be your return over time.
When I was growing up, I was taught to save 10% of everything I earned. From the berry fields to my first job after high school, there was little left to put into savings after expenses.
But it was a principle I took seriously, abided by and was always amazed at how those little deposits added up over time.
When my husband and I got married, we started out barely able to make ends meet and pay the bills. In fact the first six months of our marriage we lived with his parents.
But over the years, we continued that same principle of putting away whatever we could, investing for future years. It required discipline, self-regulation, sacrifice and commitment. But it was a diligence that paid off in huge dividends.
Investing wisely took a while to learn. Some stocks were too risky, others gave no return for an investment; but after a short period of time we learned how to invest wisely and prudently, maximizing our return while minimizing the risks.
Relationships are Investments
“Many people will walk in and out of your life,
but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”
Just as we begin with an amount to invest for financial growth, so we also make a commitment to invest time and energy into our relationships.
In childhood, we played with whoever was around. Later, we hung around kids that gave us social identity and status and with whom we could share the doubts and fears we had growing up. Our investment was for the moment.
Adulthood brought a different circle of friends. Gradually we understood the need to cultivate relationships that extended beyond party time to those who shared similar goals and values. It was a time when we considered the mate we wanted to share our life with. Our investments had became more serious.
“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, then walk alone in the light.”
Some friendships continue over a lifetime – others go by the wayside – others we drop because those early moments of compatibility were shallow and had no roots to grow.
Friendships where we have invested quality time, energy, love and commitment will be those that give us the greatest return. This cannot be measured in monetary terms but is huge to living a blessed life.
Choosing friends that share similar values will be someone you can rely on through thick and thin, the ups and downs and difficult times as well as the fun times. Friends stand by each other, helping to support when they are down and out and cheer you when you have successes. They are not afraid to extend themselves or sacrifice when it is important. They care for the other as much as they care for themselves. You give and don’t ask for pay back. A good friend is the greatest gift you will ever receive. Your friendship is the greatest gift you can give another.
I have friends that go back over many, many years. Distance never interfered in the continuation of that friendship. My husband was my best friend. I have been incredibly blessed as there is nothing in this world that can compare with such friendships.
As I continue to seek out those relationships where support and similar values can be shared, I work at being the best friend I can be in return.
Where have you put your investments?
Think about the friendships you have. How would you rate them? How would you rate yourself as a friend. Think about the following:
- How do you choose your friends?
- What qualities are necessary for a dependable, long term relationship? What is the most important criteria for such an important investment?
- Do you invest in friendships that offer only short term returns: status, popularity, inclusion, someone to party with, or something you can get from?
- Can you be genuine and honest in your relationships, comfortable sharing the not so good attributes as well as those you are proud of?
- Are you able to communicate your thoughts and feelings and work together for long term goals or share similar interests.
While we will have many different types of relationships, some more intimate than others, when we are free to be ourselves and step out to be the best friend we can be, it is an investment that will give us incredible returns.