This blog series is adapted from my panel at the 2018 Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. For those who were unable to make it, here’s what you missed!
We’re going to start today’s discussion with a quick question. Who owns their own house?
According to Disney, moving out of our parents’ place and finding our own house should be easy. All we need to do is – marry royalty! Royals come with a huge castle and absolutely no property tax. This plan worked for Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Aladdin, and Meghan Markle.
However, for those who haven’t found their prince or princess yet, or, *gasp* don’t plan on it, maybe we need another plan.
Here we see a young woman who suddenly finds herself in a toxic home environment and decides to move out on her own. At 14, perhaps a bit little younger than many of us, but still. She quickly finds herself a few roommates and makes herself at home. There are a few lessons here for us:
- Food can be an incredibly effective means of making friends. I have found this to be true on both the cooking and receiving sides. When I was in college, one new roommate endeared himself by frequently having snacks and Halo ready when I got home from class. We became good friends very quickly.
- While some people may never like you, kindness can win over even the grumpiest of people. And although our kindness won’t always be appreciated the way we want it to be, we should still choose kindness because it has a power all it’s own.
- Snow White meets 8 strangers over the course of the movie. 7 are kind and make her life much easier. Only 1, the Wicked Queen, is actually dangerous. While I’m not suggesting that we hand out our banking passwords to everyone we meet, perhaps we can make a habit of giving people the benefit of the doubt. Allowing people in, while sometimes dangerous, can make our lives far more rich.
Another young man strikes out from home to make it on his own. And quickly runs in with the worst sort of people: actors. He joins the circus, gets into a bunch of trouble, and continues to fall in with a bad crowd. He finally narrowly avoids becoming a beast, enslaved to the hedonism that plagues his newfound friends. It’s only when he returns to what he knows to be right, self-sacrifice and family, that he becomes a real person.
Actually, this is almost exactly my life story…
But in all seriousness, when we move out from our parents’ place, they exert less influence over us. Our choice of friends and roommates is going to be important as we seek to become an adult. “Bad company corrupts good character,” (1 Cor. 15:33). I’m not telling you which friends to hang out with, but if you have an idea of what kind of adult you’d like to be, I suggest you find people who are similar to your goal self and hang out with them more.
If you want to become an active, sporty person, don’t just hang out with people who want to play video games all day. If you want to be well read and highly educated, don’t spend your time with people who never pick up a book. Proverbs 22:24-25 reminds us: “Do not make friends with a not-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and become ensnared.”
The character of those we surround ourselves with rub off on us, which either makes it easier to become the best version of us that we can be or a whole lot harder.