Choose your friends carefully, they’ll change your life

Dancers in Avant Garde Dance's Black Album, (c) Carole Edrich 2012

Dancers in Avant Garde Dance’s Black Album, (c) Carole Edrich 2012

Do as you would be done by, while clichéd, is something that I try hard to live. I’ll help anyone I can within reason, will do my best to support them in times of trouble and to be honest to them too. For me that also means behaving in an honest way and not doing to others what I’d not like done to me.

It means giving the whole truth when it’s needed, even when it is difficult to do so, and not encouraging others to cheat or mislead their friends. I believe you can tell a lot about someone by the company they choose to keep and have learned from experience that if someone tolerates less than ethical behaviour it’s most likely because they don’t value it themselves (or haven’t even considered it, which is worse). If they let their friend’s behaviour impact on me or influence their lives, it’s probably time to reassess the friendship. I had to do that today.

I believe people can change. They can grow. They can decide whether or not to allow themselves to be influenced, and whether anyone is aware of what they’re doing, the absence of a decision is a decision in itself.

Shobhana Jeyasingh's Counterpoint at Somerset House, (c) Carole Edrich 2010

Shobhana Jeyasingh’s Counterpoint at Somerset House, (c) Carole Edrich 2010

I have some wonderful friends. They’re thoughtful, ethical, inspirational and intelligent. I’m proud of our association and would feel devastated to loose them. New friends are always welcome and it is an experience with someone I thought was just such a new friend that caused me to write this post.

I’ve chosen these images to illustrate that the friends we choose can lead us into the dark or the light, and that the decision, ultimately, is ours alone.