(taken from my article “Good News, Bad News: Investing for a Rainy Day” on HealingAnswers.com)
This blog post is not about investing money. It is about investing in what’s around you—in friendships, in committed relationships, in neighborly relations, in family, and in the community. Investing in these important relationships is investing for a rainy day at its best!
Good News: Investing in family, friends and community builds a safety net
“Investing in friendships and giving and taking from friends is nourishing. Investing in relationships is natural and is needed to live a balanced life. Investing in family—children, children’s children, siblings, cousins, and so on builds a network of support that is reliable. Investing in communal activities builds a network of support that nourishes and strengthens the individual community members and the collective group.”… from “Oneself—Living”.
Investing time is necessary in order to build a safety net for when life becomes difficult or too hard to bear alone. Often, people put work obligations before obligations to family, friends, and community. This behavior has become acceptable in society, but it is short-sighted. The more a person gives to the relationships that truly matter, the more protection from the surprises that occur in life. Of course, a person must perform work obligations with an enthusiastic spirit and with focus, but work obligations should be one section of life, not all of life.
Good News: Investing in family, friends and community supports good health
The more people invest in their relationships and community, the more balanced their health. Time spent with people who are meaningful creates memories that enrich beyond the moments in which they occurred. Positive memories are better, but even negative memories create experiences that build and nurture if the negative experiences are within the realm of realistic disagreeable treatment. In other words, interactions with family members, friends, and community acquaintances do not always have to be positive for the investment to be worthwhile. Learning to negotiate the varying needs of the various people is balancing.
Choose a community betterment activity that excites you so you’ll want to participate. If you enjoy the arts, volunteer at a museum or in an enhancing-the-neighborhood project. If you prefer working on your own, volunteer with community building or cleaning projects. There are enough volunteer opportunities to suit all personalities.
Bad News: Not investing is unwise
“Non-investment in relationships with others leads to loneliness, sadness, aloofness, insensitivity, and unsureness. Non-investment in friendship—foolish. Non-investment in marriage—incorrect behavior. Non-investment in intrafamilial connections—mistake. Non-investment in neighborly relations—short-sighted. Non-investment in societal obligations—selfish thinking.”… from “Oneself—Living”.
The less people invest in their relationships and community, the less balanced their health. Simple as that.
Investing for a rainy day means being prepared for whatever may come. Rain is not negative, but it can cause a change in plans. The same is true for changes in health, family structure (through births, deaths, divorce, etc.), and societal balance. Being prepared means planning ahead—making sure to invest in the connections that truly matter.