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The Company You Keep

While his name is reminiscent of a character-name in a Harry Potter book, Publilius (85–43 BC) was a Latin writer, formerly a Syrian who was bought as a slave and brought to Italy. Because of his grit and determination, as well as his wit and talent he “won the favor of his master, who freed and educated him.” Obviously, Publilius did something about his situation.

As a riff on his quote, and to use relatively current lingo “misery loves company.”  So, whether the message is spoken in olde English, Greek, or Klingon, the realization and admonition is there:  like attracts like;  you’re known by the company you keep; and (this I heard from one of my grannys) “if you wallow with pigs, you’re gonna get dirty.”  The basic message, for me (introspective soul that I am), is to take a quick census of how I am feeling, what negative thoughts are roiling around in my brain, what I am currently experiencing (the out-picturing of my feelings and thinkings), what am I whining about (“Want a little cheese with that whine?” – heard in a meeting).  How often do I commiserate (ofttimes specifically…) with folks who’ll join in and commiserate with me, thus joining the ain’t-it-awful bandwagon?  Hey, soon we’ll have a parade !!  Elephants and zebras and clowns and the Big Top.


Alright. Enough (almost) of beating a dead horse. I learned a technique several decades ago to use humor and exaggeration to address an ‘awfuling’ mindset. To really play it up and expand it into the ridiculous. (Oops … watch out for that elephant poop !)  Hence, the creation of the circus-of-drama that comes to town. In embracing this technique, one can begin to see the amusingly ridiculousness of the choice to stay stuck in misery. And ironically (don’tcha just love it when this happens!!) within the ridiculousness arise some potentially valid ideas one was not able to even think of, because of the narrow- and closed-mindedness that encircles, like an impenetrable cloud, the misery-mindset. Woohoo !  Solutions !!  Potential positive movement !!!

Here’s an interesting thought:  Happiness loves company too.  With that in Mind, what do you say we start a new parade?  Onward indeed.    Namaste’  Lin

Lin Church, Mssw      Coach ~ Mentor ~ Writer ~ Presenter:  JourneyWoman