12 Signs That Americans Need To Be Nervous About Your Freedom


12 Signs That Americans Who Love Liberty And Freedom Should Watch Their Backs

Do you love liberty and freedom?  If so, you better watch your back.  The control freaks that run our society are stripping away our liberties and freedoms a little bit more each day, and lately they seem to be particularly focused on coming after those that are not “integrating” into the system.  Just like the rest of the western world, America is being transformed into a “Big Brother” police state control grid.  Nearly everything that you do is being watched and monitored.  A whole host of organizations know that you are on this website right now.  If you want to go to an NFL game next weekend, there is a good chance that you will be on the receiving end of an “enhanced pat-down” and if you are producing raw milk on your farm there is a good chance that the feds will show up for a pre-dawn raid on your property.  In many areas of the country, the government forces us to shoot our kids full of vaccines and implant dangerous microchips in our pets.  Virtually wherever we go there is a camera that is watching us or there are other Americans that are evaluating whether or not we are engaged in “suspicious activity” that needs to be reported to the government.  Once upon a time, America was all about liberty and freedom, but today our nation is undergoing a radical cultural shift.  America is being “locked down”, and those who love liberty and freedom should watch their backs.

Once upon a time, our founders thought that they were guaranteeing our freedoms by adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution.

But today there are a lot of freedoms that we simply do not have any longer.

In America today, you do not have the right to say whatever you want.  If you say the wrong thing on a blog or a website it can have dramatic consequences.

In America today, you do not have the right to do raise your own children as you see fit.

In America today, you do not have the right to grow whatever food you want and you do not have the right to eat whatever food you do grow.

In America today, you do not have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

In America today, you do not have a right to privacy.  In fact, you should expect that everything that you do is watched, tracked, monitored and recorded.

If you doubt any of the statements above, just check out the examples posted below.

The following are 12 signs that Americans who love liberty and freedom should watch their backs….

  •  A 55-year-old man in Arizona was recently ordered to turn in all his guns because of things that he wrote on his blog.  Fortunately, after WorldNetDaily covered the story there was an outpouring of outrage and the order was overturned, but what would have happened if WorldNetDaily had not covered the story?
  • According to Mike Adams of Natural News, the CDC is starting to call parents all over the nation to question them about the vaccination status of their children….

They need to know whY?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which has been comprehensively exposed as a vaccine propaganda organization promoting the interests of drug companies, is now engaged in a household surveillance program that involves calling U.S. households and intimidating parents into producing child immunization records. As part of what it deems a National Immunization Survey(NIS), the CDC is sending letters to U.S. households, alerting them that they will be called by “NORC at the University of Chicago” and that households should “have your child’s immunization records handy when answering our questions.”

You can see a copy of the letter that the CDC is sending out to selected parentsright here.

 

 

  •  According to blogger Alexander Higgins, students in kindergarten and the 1st grade in the state of New Jersey are now required by law to participate “in monthly anti-terrorism drills”.  The following is an excerpt from a letter that he recently received from the school where his child attends….

Each month a school must conduct one fire drill and one security drill which may be a lockdown, bomb threat, evacuation, active shooter, or shelter-in place drill. All schools are now required by law to implement this procedure.

So who in the world ever decided that it would be a good idea for 1st grade students to endure “lockdown” and “active shooter” drills?

To get an idea of what these kinds of drills are like, just check out this video.

  •  According to licensed private investigator Angela V. Woodhull, hospitals are increasingly using “guardianship” to strip elderly Americans of their liberty and to rapidly drain their bank accounts.  The following is one story that Woodhull included in a recent article….

Ginger Franklin, Hendersonville, Tennessee, fell down the stairs in her condo and suffered a bump on her head.  She was declared “temporarily mentally incapacitated” and a guardian was appointed through the courts.  Within six weeks, the guardian had sold Franklin’s home, car, furniture, and drained her bank account.  Today, Franklin has her freedom back, but she is having to start all over.

  •  In a sign of just how far individual liberty in the United States has declined, a judge in Wisconsin has actually ruled that citizens do not have a right to grow and eat whatever foods they want to.  The following is a short excerpt from his recent decision….

1) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;

2) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;

3) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to board their cow at the farm of a farmer;

4) no, the Zinniker Plaintiffs’ private contract does not fall outside the scope of the State’s police power;

5) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume foods of their choice;

 The freedom to raise our pets as we want to is also being greatly curtailed in many areas of the country.  For example, a new law in St. Louis would require nearly all dogs and cats to be sterilized and microchipped….

Board Bill 107 would require all pet owners to spay or neuter their dogs and cats and microchip them for identification. Those who don’t want to sterilize their pets would be assessed a fee of $200 per year.

Will the control freaks that run things want to start sterilizing and microchipping humans someday?

  •  Whenever any politician suggests that we should “suspend elections”, that should be a major red flag.  North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue recently made national headlines when she made the following statement….

“I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover

  •  As I wrote about recently, many NFL teams are now performing “enhanced pat-downs” of fans before they enter the stadiums.  In Green Bay, the Packers are using hand-held metal detectors on fans before they are allowed to enter Lambeau field.

What is next?  Will they soon insist that we all undergo full body cavity searches before we are permitted to attend the games?

  • Many Americans have complained about the horrible treatment that they are receiving at U.S. airports, but now the TSA is bringing their brand of “security” to many other locations throughout America as well.

TSA “VIPR teams” now conduct approximately 8,000 “unannounced security screenings” a year at subway stations, bus terminals, ports and highway rest stops.

  •  Many of our public schools are now being run like prisons.  In fact, in many areas of the country, little kids are being publicly arrested by police in their own classrooms and are being marched out of their schools in handcuffs.
  • If you think that anything that you do on the Internet is private, you should guess again.  It has recently come out that Facebook continues to track most of the websites that you visit even after you have logged out of Facebook.

In addition, law enforcement agencies all over the globe are increasingly viewing social media as a law enforcement tool.  For example, the NYPD recently createda special “social media” unit dedicated to looking for criminals on Facebook and Twitter.

Also, many large organizations are now setting us very sophisticated systems that keep track of what is being said about them online and who is saying it.  For example, the new “Social Media Monitoring Solution” being developed by the Federal Reserve will identify “key bloggers” and monitor “billions of conversations” about the Fed on Facebook, Twitter, forums and blogs.

  •  The U.S. government is ramping up efforts to have all of us watch one another and to report any sign of “suspicious activity” to them immediately.  But exactly what does “suspicious activity” entail?  According to a shocking document obtained by Oath Keepers, the FBI has really broadened their definition of “suspicious activity”.  According to the document, “suspicious activity” now includes….

-paying with cash

-missing a hand or fingers

-”strange odors”

-making “extreme religious statements”

-”radical theology”

-purchasing weatherproofed ammunition or match containers

-purchasing meals ready to eat

-purchasing night vision devices, night flashlights or gas masks

According to WorldNetDaily, this document is part of a “series of brochures” that will be distributed “to farm supply stores, gun shops, military surplus stores and even hotels and motels.”

Our entire society is becoming extremely paranoid.

The Department of Homeland Security is spending massive amounts of money and running tons of ads to promote the “See Something, Say Something” campaign.

Apparently the Obama administration wants to turn the entire country into a vast network of government snitches.

They spend billions upon billions of dollars watching all of us, and yet now they also want all of us to watch each other.

It is not right.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to end up living in a society that resembles the novel “1984″ by George Orwell.

Sadly, the death of our civil liberties is very rarely mentioned by any of our politicians these days.

Both major political parties seem to have fully embraced the growing national security apparatus that is starting to suffocate the life out of this country.

Yes, we will always need security, but security measures should be implemented in such a way that they will never violate the liberty, freedom, honor or dignity of ordinary Americans.

In a previous article, an author wrote the following….

If those in charge of our security right now cannot protect us without compromising our liberty, freedom, honor and dignity then they need to immediately resign and allow someone else to do the job.

The Department of Homeland Security should be given a dual mandate.  They must be charged with protecting us and they must be charged with protecting our liberty, freedom, honor and dignity at the same time.

If those running the security apparatus in this country right now feel like they cannot do that, then they need to step aside and let someone else take over.

The status quo is not acceptable.

Right now, all law enforcement personnel in this country are trained to bark at us like dogs and to treat us like cattle.

They are actually instructed to be mean and aggressive with us.  From the first day of training, they are taught to treat us like dirt.

Things were not always this way in America.  Once upon a time there was a clear distinction between the United States and “evil” totalitarian regimes.

Well, today we are becoming a little more “evil” and a little more “totalitarian” with each passing day.

If you love liberty and freedom, you better watch your back.

America is changing, and not for the better.

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What Does Sex Mean To You? & What Does Sex Mean To Your Spouse?


Welcome to sex within a  Marriage.

Do You Feel The Same?

As we get started, let me ask you this: What does sex mean to you?

Seriously, spend a bit of time with this question. In your answer you will discover the key to unlocking much more in this area of your life.

If you’d prefer to examine this idea on a broader scale, change the previous question to: What does your sexuality mean to you?

We are all sexual beings. Our sexuality is intimately linked with the rest of our life. It’s even linked to our spirituality. In fact, the two are intertwined.

That’s the way everything is in life. We may think we are compartmentalized beings: the work you, the home you, the friend you, etc. but each area is interrelated.

To me, when you look at sex and sexuality … it’s a language. And as humans, we are the only species capable of making meaning with the things do in our life. When it comes to sex, a lot is placed on the meaning attached to the act.

When you get down to it, sex is an act, but it’s also so much more than that.

The key to better sex rests in the meaning placed on it.

There’s always a deeper meaning to the things in our life.

A couple keeps having the same arguments about trivial things. Yesterday it was how to park the car, before that it was the phone bill, before that it was about whose turn it was to take the dog out, and now it’s happening again. They’re in the kitchen debating how to properly slice a tomato. They’ve been married for several years and would say it’s been great, but they’re at this point in the relationship where deeper issues like trust and commitment and kids and vulnerability are lingering in their minds and hearts, and underneath it all they both have this question: “If I get closer to my spouse will they leave me?” But neither of them has voiced this, and both of them experienced their parents’ divorcing at a young age, so anytime tension or conflict comes up, things get confusing quickly and so they’re just at this moment realizing that this argument has nothing to do with how to slice a tomato. (adapted from Rob Bell, Sex God)

Make an effort to make it fun

Or, the foreplay is progressing along fine and you both are enjoying the time together when suddenly your partner disengages and it has nothing to do with what’s going on in bed at the moment, but you take offense and storm off while your partner lays there feeling even more guilty and alone.

So what’s your meaning when it comes to sex?

Connection. Release. Love. Power. Commitment. Procreation.

No one can define it for you. It must come from you.

There are times when meanings change. Sometimes sex is just a release. Other times it’s a longing for closer

connection. Sometimes you just want to give, other times you want to be taken.

It doesn’t have to have the same meaning each time, but it helps to be aware of what you’re looking for.

As you enter into sex, invite your lover into your world, be honest. Speak up.

Here’s a couple of ideas for better sex in your marriage.

Can it always be great?

Understand the meaning of sex for you. What are you looking for when you seek out your lover?
Speak up. Let your partner know what’s going on in your mind. Tell them what you’re looking for. Let them in on your experience during the encounter. Let them experience all of you. And while you’re at it, seek to experience all of them.
Take an anatomy class. Most people understand the basic idea when it comes to sex, at least intercourse. But there are many couples that seem to think that’s all sex is. Wrong! There are many ways to be sexual. Talk to your partner. Learn their anatomy. Teach them your anatomy. Learn their pleasure points. Yours. Would it surprise you to learn that an often overlooked G spot is the mind? It’s actually our most potent sexual organ.

Sex can be extremely pleasurable. But it doesn’t happen by chance. It’s more than getting naked and “doing it.” For great sex, you have to show up, be more present, more open, more vulnerable, more alive.

Do Most Men Prefer Long Hair on Women? – The Answer is Yes


long hair is a classic

What length hair do men prefer?

The question has been asked, and they guys have answered. Here is what they have to say on whether they like long or short hair on a woman.

Recently a poll was done by researchers that concluded that men prefer women with long hair. This has been an age old question since the beginning of time. Do men prefer women with long hair, and why? Well we now have the answer to that question. Although this doesn’t reflect the opinion of every man, it represents the majority.

When you ask a man what length of hair he prefers on women, 9 times out of 10 he will say long. This question was asked on Yahoo Answers, and a few other sites on the web. And nearly all the men asked, responded yes, they prefer long hair on women. But also that it depended on the individual woman’s face shape and features. Not everything looks the good on everybody. Some women don’t look good in long hair, and some don’t look good in short.

In one poll done by the Daily Mail Reporter,researchers did a survey of 3,000 men, and 43% of the men polled preferred long hair. The celebrities that they thought were sexy: Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rihanna. 80 percent of the men said they definitely notice if a woman changes her hair, while 18 percent said they rarely notice when a woman changes her hair. They also indicated that they like shiny, touchable hair without a lot of styling products. They like to run their fingers through it.

The results of a recent Poll:

Long and Wavy: 43% Long and straight: 13% Mid-length straight: 9% Mid-length wavy/curled: 3%

The second favorite styles:

Classic Bob: 10% Pixie Cropped: 7% Long Bob: 6%

Why do men prefer long hair on women?

All the men who answered yes to the question, said they prefer a woman to have long hair because it sexy.There’s just something about long flowing curly or wavy hair that they consider incredibly attractive. Like a reminiscence of the paintings of the Victorian era, women with long dresses and beautiful hair are very alluring. They equate long hair with being very feminine.

And guys love it when you use a certain type of shampoo, because on long hair it is more likely that they will be close enough to smell that scent. Some men like the smell of coconut, or other fruity scents in shampoo, or even ones that smell more like perfume. When your hair is down, they can nuzzle your neck and smell your hair at the same time. That’s harder to do with shorter hair.

Another reason men prefer long hair on women?

They like to touch it, feel it and play with it. And they like to pull it. Not like when we were in grade school and they pulled on our pigtails. But grown up play definitely includes a little hair tugging. Or grabbing a handful while pulling you in for a passionate kiss. Men love long hair on women, it’s just a fact!

The neck is a sexy part of a woman                                                                                                                                                             

And wearing your hair pulled up into a loose bun with a little hair out at the nape of the neck, is incredibly sexy. There are parts of a woman’s body that men love; namely the back of the neck,the top of the shoulders, the hollow of your throat, the small of your back and the swell of the breasts.They love it when your hair is down and covering these parts. Like a gift waiting to be unwrapped.

A woman’s hair is considered her “crowning glory” according to the bible. This is not to suggest that you shouldn’t wear your hair short, but meaning that this is a woman’s most alluring feature. Just as important as a pretty face,nice hair complements you as well. Whether it be long or short, you should wear it in a stylish and flattering manner. Some women have features that go along with short pixie styles, and other women look better with it long. It’s really a matter of what looks good on the individual. Always go with what looks good on you, not what any body else says you should do. Ultimately looking your very best should be what’s important anyway!

It’s all about finding that special person who gives you butterflies! Love is finding someone you connect with on every level. And things such as age, looks and finances are superficial.

Can Money Buy Happiness Or Is It The Root Of All Evil


What is it about money? We envy it, some of us kill for it, we look down our noses at it, some of us won’t have anything to do with it, and yet its place in the cultural consciousness is assured. Money, that is, can’t be overlooked, pro or con. Freud, who had his own complex relationship with money, cultivating some patients solely in the hope of their ­endowing his psychoanalytic endeavor, thought that wealth could never bring happiness because it didn’t answer an infantile wish—that its roots lay later on in human development. Still, while blithely equating money with feces in the unconscious, he himself was not immune to its power: “My mood also depends very strongly on my earnings,” he wrote to a colleague. “Money is laughing gas for me.”

One might argue that money is laughing gas for most of us in its ability to dissipate anxiety and send our spirits soaring. It speaks to our sense of freedom, to our wish not to be hemmed in by the prosaic circumstances of our lives. Although you can travel on $5 a day (or used to be able to), it is far less taxing and more cushy to ­travel by private jet. Among money’s less overtly acknowledged uses, which is implicitly addressed by purveyors of luxury brands, is separating one from the masses, ensuring that one feels like a king or queen for a day—or a week, or a lifetime.

But here’s the odd thing: Although money in itself arouses many emotions, including admiration, we tend to despise the people in possession of it. We suspect them of having come by it unfairly, of somehow not being “worthy” of their own wealth. The popular animus against the rich is inscribed in our cultural narrative as surely as is our curiosity about them; indeed, the critic Lionel Trilling observed that “the novel is born with the appearance of money as a social element.” Perhaps the most comprehending “insider” novel ever written about the damage money can do is The Great Gatsby, in which F. Scott Fitzgerald observes of the immensely rich Tom and Daisy Buchanan: “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

I’ve experienced firsthand the barely veiled hostility that being rich—or merely being perceived as rich—can elicit from veritable strangers, even those who are themselves well-off. As a DJwho draws on personal material, I’ve been candid about the vexed issue of money in my life in a way that few DJ’s are; in a interview published in The New Yorker more than a dec­ade ago, I stated that money, “far more than sex, lingers as our deepest collective secret, our last taboo,” and that I had little idea of how even my closest friends managed to live in an expensive city like New York (and send their children to private school to boot). My honesty about my own affluent background has left me vulnerable to various jabs. I remember, for instance, going to lunch with a friend, a promoter who happened to come from a family far wealthier than mine but who was generally silent on this aspect of his lineage, and another promoter, an Upper West Side liberal type of more modest means, who had the usual clichéd disdain for businessmen and anything that smacked of a pecuniary imperative. We were discussing the difficulties of supporting oneself as a performer, the unspoken but snobby assumption for both of them being that it was beneath their principles to preform out of anything but the most pure and nonremunerative of impulses. Instead, I offered up that I actually liked preforming for the sort of events that paid well since they came with a larger crowd and venue and required more of a special touch.

I might as well have announced that I’d taken up bank robbery as a sideline. My friend, heir to a real estate fortune, bowed his head as though to avoid the palpable tension in the air that my happy embrace of profitmaking had produced. After a brief pause, the other promoter, who had enjoyed a degree of commercial success years earlier, turned to me and said in the chilliest of tones, “I didn’t think you had to perform for money.” I was too flustered to do anything but lamely smile, although I was actually furious at her condescending and somewhat juvenile attitude toward the reality of economic considerations, even for people like me. How, for one thing, did she know if my family wealth had translated into something substantial down the line? And, for another, had she never heard of the need to stake out one’s own turf? Come to think of it, where did her pose of moral superiority come from in the first place? Since when did middle-class origins render you a better human being than upper-class roots?

I grew up with a complicated and somewhat opaque relationship to money, fueled by my aunt’s unease about having married a man who made a lot of it. My aunt, who wasn’t given much to introspection, succeeded in passing off to her children any guilt she felt about marrying a successful businessman (my Uncle began as a florist but went on to work in the legal system as a lawyer then became a federal circuit court judge) instead of an idealistic professional (her own father having been a lawyer and Zionist leader). My cousins and I were instilled with the notion that there was something problematic, even shameful, about having a rich head of the household. Beyond this, we were also taught that the money we saw around us didn’t belong to us. Just because my aunt employed a staff that included a cook, a nanny, a laundress, and a chauffeur didn’t mean that we were to expect any of the usual perks. My two cousins and I weren’t bought expensive clothes or jewelry; my three male cousins weren’t bought cars. Instead, we were made to understand that the money was my Uncles’ to do with as he saw fit, which in their case included enormous amounts of philanthropy. My uncle’s wealth went to supporting my aunt’s large family in Italy and to Itallian causes of all sorts. We, meanwhile, were brought up as unentitled—and as a result, wholly undemanding—beneficiaries of whatever largesse happened to come our way. Compared with how I see children of the rich brought up today, this approach surely had its benefits, but it also created an unreality of its own, in which I was viewed one way while my experience proved otherwise.

Of course, these days, what with the tanked economy, the growing number of unemployed, and the ever more brazen Wall Street scandals, it’s even less popular to waste any sympathy—much less understanding—on the rich. It’s too easy to believe that they deserve the opprobrium that’s thrown at them, even if some of them create jobs and invent things to make our lives easier. What strikes me as paradoxical is that, notwithstanding this negative bias, we as a society remain fascinated by the gilded life. Articles about financial trickster Bernie Madoff never failed to include details about the houses and watches he collected or the jewelry he bought his wife. Similarly, the Real Housewives of… shows, which play to an addicted following (a cat­egory in which I proudly do not include myself) uniformly feature women of means, mostly by virtue of marriage, although one or two of them—like Bethenny Frankel—appear to have made it on their own. A bonus of watching these shows is getting to see gobs of money thrown at handbags, shoes, interior decor, and even the most minor of celebrations. (When Ramona on The Real Housewives of New York reaffirmed her marriage vows, she rented a yacht for her girlfriends to loll about on.) We are drawn to the parade of bling with an almost furtive fascination, in the recognition that there is something narcissistic and morally questionable about this inflamed level of expenditure, while at the same time vicar­iously enjoying the “Let them eat cake” consumerism of it. Perhaps, at heart, none of us accepts that money can’t buy happiness, and we keep pressing our noses to the glass in the belief that the rich are genuinely cushioned from ordinary suffering by the immense scale of their toys. While it is undoubtedly true that money provides certain comforts that may make emotional pain easier to bear—surely it is better to be depressed and provided for than depressed and also tormented by the stress of wondering how you’ll ever manage to put food on the table—you’d think by now we’d know money’s limits.

So where do we go from here? Are we destined to become a society of plutocrats, ensnared by the lure of filthy lucre even as we hold our noses at the stench of ill-gotten gains? Amid all the talk of the subprime mortgage debacle, the shattered dreams of home­owners, and the need to transform Wall Street, I’d bet that the culture of excess hasn’t disappeared so much as gone into hiding. Frugality fatigue seems to set in almost as quickly as you can say recession, which would help explain why Barneys, that mecca of the monied and whimsical, sold out of a $1,700 Azzedine Alaïa sandal this past summer as Main Street continued to tighten its belt. It would take nothing less than a radical rethinking of values—a reconsideration of our entire aspirational, bigger-is-­better American way of life—for money to stop making “the world go round,” as Joel Grey sang in Cabaret. Meanwhile, the rich will continue to be unreflectively condemned and their swanky playgrounds will continue to hold our voyeuristic interest in a love-hate dynamic that has been going on since time immemorial.

I will leave you with this statement. While I do not think money is everything. I can say who ever it was who made the statement “Money doesn’t buy happiness” WAS AN IDIOT while nothing in this world seems to make you eternally happy being broke make you far more UNHAPPY that the few problems you would have if you had the financial means to enjoy life.  Again money is not everything but have you ever been around someone whose children were hungry, and their utilities were shut off all because of the LACK of money. I ask you this WERE THEY HAPPY?

Are Your Friends Really Friends?


Are your friends really your friends? Are they supporting and enhancing your life or are they teaching you to think and behave in darker ways that you never thought you would? The company you keep is so important. They will change you in more ways than you know.

I have been wanting to write about this topic for a long time as it is something that affects each and every one of us. And, it is something that becomes more obvious the older I get. I really hope all of you reading this will leave a comment and tell me your thoughts on this matter as I would love to know what you think.

Why your friends are important

We all know that friends are important in our lives. They keep you company when you are bored and they love you when you are sick or sad. But this isn’t what I am talking about. I am talking about the fact that your friends are (other than your parents) the most influential people in your life. You spend hours upon hours with these people and after a while you start to mimic their behavior. Your friends change you.

Take a look at the quote at the start of this article. It is a very important quote to understand. If you go off to a mountain retreat and live with monks and yogis you will find that your behavior and outlook will naturally start to become very peaceful. If you go to Wall Street and hang out with cocaine sniffing wealthy executives you will find that you naturally become more greedy and competitive. The people you hang out with change who you are. Because, as humans, we take in information from the world around us and, more importantly, we try to fit in to that world around us.

Your friends are important. They play a big role in how you see and interact with the world. Your future is largely dependent on their influence. So, are your friends really friends?

Signs your friends aren’t really friends


Now I want to go over a few signs that might indicate that your friends aren’t really your friends. I hope you will read over them and let me know if you can think of any others.

1. You have to be someone else around them
If you feel like you have to be someone other than your normal self around your friends then chances are they aren’t your real friends. We all know this feeling. You go out with these people but you feel like you need to dress or talk differently in order to fit in.

These people aren’t your friends. These people are tools you are using to try and be more popular. And this type of pursuit won’t get you anywhere at all. Next time you meet up with a “friend” take a look at your own mind and behavior and see if you are falling into this trap.

2. You gossip more
Gossip is a terrible thing. It hurts other people and it makes you feel bad about yourself in the long run. One sure sign that your friends aren’t really your friends is when you find that you gossip more around them.

In the new movie Doubt with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep there is a wonderful scene where the local Priest (played by Hoffman) gives a stirring sermon about gossip. The wonderful acting by Hoffman made this an extremely moving section of the movie – so powerful that I wanted to share it with you. Here is the transcript:

A woman was gossiping with a friend about a man she hardly knew – I know none of you have ever done this – that night she had a dream. A great hand appeared over her and pointed down at her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O’Rourke, and she told him the whole thing.

‘Is gossiping a sin?’ she asked the old man. ‘Was that the hand of God Almighty pointing a finger at me? Should I be asking your absolution? Father, tell me, have I done something wrong?’

‘Yes!’ Father O’Rourke answered her. ‘Yes, you ignorant, badly broughtup female! You have borne false witness against your neighbor, you have played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed!’

So the woman said she was sorry and asked for forgiveness.

‘Not so fast!’ says O’Rourke. ‘I want you to go home, take a pillow up on your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me!’

So the woman went home, took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to the roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed.

‘Did you gut the pillow with the knife?’ he says.

‘Yes, Father.’

‘And what was the result?’

‘Feathers,’ she said.

‘Feathers?’ he repeated.

‘Feathers everywhere, Father!’

‘Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out on the wind!’

‘Well,’ she said, ‘it can’t be done. I don’t know where they went. The wind took them all over.’

‘And that,’ said Father O’Rourke, ‘is GOSSIP!’

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen.

Gossip is, unfortunately, the product of many bad friendships. Often times we meet with people and, after running out of things to talk about, we start talking about the mistakes that other people have made. If you’re friends are making you gossip more it might be time to switch company.

3. You’re moving further away from your goals
Everyone has goals that they want to achieve. Some people want to buy a nice big house, other people want to travel and some of us want a good career. Whatever your goal in life is it should be supported by your friends. They should help you get closer and closer to this goal.

I went to school with some really motivated people. They knew what they wanted to do in life (doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.) and they knew how they were going to do it. But around senior year a lot of these friends met with bad company that lead them astray. They started drinking a lot, taking drugs and skipping school. By the time exams came around they were so far behind that there was no chance they were going to get into the college degree of their choice.

This is a really sad example of how bad friends can change your future. The very act of hanging around with the wrong people can cause you to lose track and lose your way. If your friends are taking you further away from your goals then you really need to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if they are the best thing for you.

4. You don’t notice any positive qualities growing
One thing that you will find happens quite naturally when you hang out with good friends is that your positive qualities will grow and flourish. If you find that no new positive qualities are developing and, in fact, you are developing some negative traits then it is time to be worried.


As an example I have an old yogi friend who has spent many years in meditation retreats. Whenever I hang out with this guy I find myself becoming more loving and patient and relaxed. On the other hand, I have some friends who leave me feeling more anxious, agitated and angry at the world. There is a big difference.

Friends should bring out the best in you. They should help you to reach new heights, not bring you down to their problems. Take a look at how you feel during and after meeting your acquaintances and see what is going on with you.

But I can’t just give up on my friends!

With all this talk about leaving bad friends and finding better company you are probably having the natural reaction of not wanting to give up on your friends. Good. That is normal. It shows you have a heart. The task is to discover inside your own mind whether or not this is the best solution. And it is something that only you can ascertain.

For example, if you can stay friends with a bad influence because you feel like their example doesn’t rub off on you and, in fact, you are benefiting the person by being their friend then by all means you should stay their friend. But, on the other hand, if you are finding that this person is bringing you down and you really aren’t getting anything from the relationship then you might need to make the tough decision to see them less often.

Only you can decide what is the best thing to do. You know your own mind and behavior better than anyone else so if you can see changes going on for the worse you need to take action. Nobody else can take it for you.

Conclusion

The company you keep is important. They influence you for both the better and the worse. Take a look at your five closest friends and see if they are good for you. Because those five people are your biggest influences. You will surely begin to emulate them in one way or another.

Please leave a comment if you have anything to add on this subject. I would be really interested to hear your advice, thoughts and experiences with bad friends.