Choosing family and friends

What “Building bridges over walls” is about (chapter intro):

I’ve always impressed upon my children that while friends will come and go over the years, your family by nature will always be with you. You can dump bad friends, but your family is always your family. For better or worse, you’re stuck with them. I remind my kids that when the going gets tough, family members are often the only people you can trust to support you, love you, and help you.

So appreciate and be nice to your family in the good times, because you may need them in the bad. And yes, while family will judge you (so will your friends) they will more often than not still be there for you when you need them. Even when you don’t deserve them.

Speaking of friends…what a fickle bunch that can be. I think the goal with friends is to nurture those relationships and give them the chance to grow strong over the years. One thing that is dangerous, however, is to stereotype all friendships as unworthy, just because you’ve suffered a few bad apples. We often beg the question, “With friends like that, who needs enemies?” The best course of action is to shed that “dead weight” and search for new friends worthy of you.

I’ve learned a million things about relationships over the years. They’re what make life worth living, but they can also make life miserable. The trick is to learn how to skillfully navigating those waters, and know when to hang on and when to move on.

“To have a friend, you must be a friend, starting with yourself.” ~ Unknown