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How many dogs have you slept with???

When I was growing up, my dad often referred, however loosely, to old proverbs and sayings to help my siblings and I understand matters of everyday life that he considered to be important. One that comes to mind today is “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas.”

On this past Friday, S&P downgraded the US Government’s credit rating…imagine the shock and awe of people around the world!  As if that weren’t enough, I peruse through the Monday morning news to see that Fannie and Freddie have also been downgraded. The reason?  Well, apparently, Fannie and Freddie are guilty by association.  They depend on the US Government so much so that their own credit worthiness has become tied directly to good ole Uncle Sam’s.  Unfortunately, that’s not where it ends.  Guess what folks who want to buy a house…this is bad news for you too!  If you want to buy your first home or just another home, those mortages are likely going to be higher than they were a month or so ago. 

So, what does all of this have to do with individuals and relationships?  Well, let us just take a moment to think about the many times that our lives have been impacted, no matter the size of the impact, by the choices, associations, and decisions of those around us.  Friends, parents, co-workers, church members, significant others, siblings…must I go on?  Have you ever had an unexpected expense come up and thought to yourself, “Ugh!  If only I hadn’t loaned that money to ____!  And if only _____ wasn’t involved with _____, I wouldn’t have had to loan him/her money and I would be fine right now!”  Or have you ever found yourself working late or on the weekend because you spent too much time chit-chatting with your favorite co-workers and didn’t get all of your work done–not that I know anyone like that–?

How would your life be different if you had not associated with some of the people in your circle (past or present)?  Would your career have taken a different path?  Your personal life?  Would you have more children?  Less children?  Be married? Single? Would you have gone to college or beyond?  Would you even live in the state or country you live in currently?

Now let me be clear.  Just beause you woke up with fleas doesn’t mean the dog you lied down with was bad.  I have a dog (see above) and he’s GREAT…but he can still attract fleas.

So that means two things for us.  Sometimes, lying down with dogs is unavoidabe, but  1) we MUST be proactive and do what we can to prevent fleas and 2) we can’t ever forget that the fleas are a possibility.  We must keep our eyes open (and never ignore the itching!)  Ok, so I’m having way too much fun with this analogy, so let me stop.

Moral of the story: Be mindful of who you share your time and life with.  Know that you are not immune to their consequences.

August 8, 2011 Posted by | Relationships, Self-help | 6 Comments