Mom’s Message: You Are Your Community

My mom is a bit of a snob.

She wouldn’t use that word. She’d say that she has high standards. That’s also true.

Friendship is one area where she had high standards, and she passed that on to me.

“Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.”

That’s one of the truisms that I heard on a regular basis when I was growing up. She busted it out whenever she thought I was spending too much time with people that I shouldn’t be, or when she felt my friends weren’t treating me the way I should expect them to.

Snobby? Perhaps. 100 percent true? I think so.

Mom raised my sisters and me to be great friends and to expect great friends. To expect friendship to be a two-way street. To give my best to my friends, and to expect their best from them. (How good I am at that on a daily basis might be up for debate; nobody’s perfect.)

We’ve probably all had a friend or two that took advantage of us in some way. Forgive them? Of course! But when it becomes a pattern, that’s something else. Mom’s message was that those people aren’t really friends.

Maybe it sounds selfish, but sometimes you have to let friends go. You have to stand up for yourself and say, “I deserve better.” You have to be picky about who you call “friend” — who you associate with every day.

Life’s too short to build a community around yourself with anyone but the best people you know. Find them. Friend them. Cherish them. Treat them how you want to be treated. And let the riff-raff go.

Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. And to all moms everywhere. Thanks for teaching us countless lessons that are just as true today as they were then.

PS – Reading this Pot-Luck project for the first few weeks has made it clear to me that there are some great people in this community. I find myself wanting to gravitate toward them. I hope you do, too.

Share this: Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit
Matt McGee

Matt McGee

Matt loves juicy cheeseburgers and ice cream. With M&Ms. (The ice cream, that is. Not the cheeseburgers.) He's also a sucker for beautiful sunsets. Matt is the editor-in-chief of two marketing-related news sites and is one of those weirdos that enjoys public speaking. His claims to fame are having a letter to the editor published in Sports Illustrated and being an extra in Thelma & Louise. (The early scene in the bar. When the camera is on Geena Davis as she's sitting down. I walk behind her. You can only see me from the stomach down to my hips/thighs. Blue jeans and a plaid-style shirt, as I recall. But it's me. Serious.)

Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more. 

  • Lou Galindo

    My mom used to say the same thing when I was growing up. Even to this day I think about it when I consider the people I meet and whether they are someone I’d like to be associated with.

  • Great post Matt, creating a community around you is important, people who cheer you on and support you in your dreams and help you up when you fall down.

  • Lou, did it sound something like “Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres.” I don’t know how many times my own mother has repeated that to me.

  • Matt McGee

    Thx Elsie. 🙂

  • Matt McGee

    It’s one of those sayings that I thought my mom had invented. Then came the internet and I realized she was using it on loan, along with a zillion other moms and dads. 🙂