Sunday, April 21, 2024

FAMILY FUSION: Socially wealthy (3)

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Freedom isn’t being stupid; freedom is being so smart that you develop a strength strong enough to break free and become your own person. A better person than what your circumstances would like to define you as.” – C. JOYBELL C.

SO YOU HAVE BEEN HURT by a close friend and you have decided to go into your shell and refuse to be friendly with anyone? You feel you must isolate and insulate yourself and keep people at arm’s length fearing that you may be hurt again.

Do you know that as long as you are alive you will have people throw negative things at you to create hurt for you?

A young woman told me recently that she prefers to be by herself and not have any friends because it is difficult to trust people today. I have been hearing that and similar expressions repeated so many times by individuals in recent years that it tells me that there is great need for individuals to become tough on the inside and yet tender on the outside.

So how can you become tough enough to withstand such social blows and still display great social strength and admirable security? The key lies in acquiring social wealth.

Two weeks ago I wrote on making yourself mentally wealthy, and last week I challenged you to be emotionally wealthy. Today your social wealth comes under the microscope. In order to acquire social wealth it is necessary to take a look inward, outward and upward and decide to dig deeply into those “golden wells,” which may be filled with riches from which you may become socially wealthy.

Look inward for social wealth

What philosopher Christopher Gilbert said is food for thought: “Ultimate prosperity is one’s value within. It takes a man (or woman) of depth, morality, and charm to be envied yet without a sign of wealth or romance. A passion to prove such inner worth is his (her) permission to achieve whatever he (or she) desires.” In the eyes of some people you may not be perceived as very valuable but never allow yourself to surrender to such people’s dim view of you.

You have value inside of you, the kind that can be used to enrich you and the life of others. Whatever you think you are worth will determine how you will live. If you never thought of it, your social worth and wealth is being tested every day by men and women. If you believe that you have to lie in order to get approval of others or yield yourself sexually to anybody to prove that you love him or her, you are not developing social wealth.

Your social wealth grows when you are able to build the self-confidence that allows you to courageously stand up and say a firm “No” to people who desire you to be partners with them in activities that you know will extract from your personal “social bank account”.

Those individuals may ridicule you but if you are consistent they will develop over time a great respect for you. Never compromise your social wealth – because “nothing can dim the light which shines from within”. But what about looking outward for social wealth?

Look outward for social wealth

Looking outward for social wealth will demand a very keen eye for discerning and then deciding who will occupy your time, attention and energy. Your goal is always to add more and more currency to your social “bank account”. In choosing your friends, consider taking the advice of William Penn into account. He said: “A true friend freely advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends, and continues a friend unchangeably.”

Choosing the company with whom you will associate therefore should be consistent with the values you hold dear, the kind that will drive you on a productive social path. Always bear in mind that the company with whom a person associates often defines that person; so be in the habit of associating with people who can top up your already existing social wealth.

Making yourself friendly is a rich value if added to your social wealth. In Proverbs:18:24 the wise man said: “A man (or woman) who has friends must himself (herself) be friendly . . .” So make friends but always keep your worth and social wealth in view. What about looking upward for social wealth?

Look upward for social wealth

If your inner and outer social wealth is going to be realised and enhanced, then tapping into the main source of supply cannot be optional. God is a social being and has given each individual, all things being equal, capability to be socially wealthy no matter their limitations.

The Holy Bible is pregnant with passages that speak to a socially oriented God. His setting up of the blueprint for family life is seen in the book of Genesis when he created a man and skilfully designed a woman. After putting them together in the bond of marriage he instructed them to live with each other as harmoniously as possible.

That was and still is God’s plan for humanity. His making available high-premium wisdom, knowledge and good common sense to develop social wealth is testament to His passion for mankind to live in a world where peace and cohesion is His ultimate goal for all.

I have met individuals whose social wealth was at its lowest level. Many shared with me that making a decision to connect with the true and living God gave them a quality of love for themselves and others that was not there before. That has been my experience as well.

Acquiring social wealth demands dogged determination, especially if you have been crushed by others over the years. Can you imagine what your life would be and those within your circle of influence if it is extremely rich socially? You may be surprised.

 • Haynesley Griffith is a marriage and family life consultant. Email: griffitharticles@gmail.com

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