4 Categories of People
Air. Medicine. Toxic. Poison. Two of those might sound similar but let’s explore them.
The inspiration for this post came from another quote I saw online:
“Some people are like air. You need them in your life and they are there for you.
Some are like medicine. You turn to them when you are ill. Too much can be harmful.
Some are toxic. If you get away before you inhale too much, you may survive.
Others are like poison. They will ruin you, even in small amounts.”Abu Ibraheem Hussnayn
SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE AIR.
People who are air means they are also constantly around you and you may not even notice it. Air itself is not visible and it is a gift that we take for granted. Think about it, how many times a day are you thankful for the air you are breathing? Unlike water you don’t usually pay for air.
I’m sure if it could be sold by someone they would do it in a heartbeat but the oxygen we need it produced by trees who take in our waste and convert it to oxygen without even being asked by any of us. This relates back to people because those who are like air for us don’t usually need to be asked to do something and don’t ask for payment either. It’s their kindness towards you. It could be a classmate, coworker, family member: someone you spend a good part of your day with without realizing how much they benefit you.
Yes. Benefit. Air is needed by all of us and provides us with relief from suffocation. Suffocation could be a metaphor here for stress of your daily life and the problems that arise during your day. Air is one thing you don’t have to worry about acquiring because like I’ve emphasized: IT’S ALWAYS THERE. (You can make the argument about smog and pollution causing the air to be dirty but those are human made problems, air is still there but people can make things dirty or clean.)
SOME ARE LIKE MEDICINE.
Medicine helps us get better and heals us, however it’s rare to consume. People can be like this too. Well you feel down or like everything is against you, a stranger or someone you used to know (friend, old neighbour) can give you the lift you need to regain your strength. Remember though when you become too attached to that person, it will work against you. Medicine is not to be consumed in abundance. It’s like wearing a cast when you leg isn’t all that broken.
Healing is in stages. One stage may be wear you need the medicine but the next stage is to gain your own strength and move forward. It’s easier said than done. The amount and types of problems people have vary drastically, but people vary just as much. The life you live is one you can handle, but people who are like medicine, aid you along the way. The same way a marathon runner has drinking stations along the course. Too much time spend at those stations can cost them the race. (Yes, I’m using a marathon as a metaphor for life but who hasn’t.)
SOME ARE TOXIC.
This is pretty vague but I’ll explain how this differs from the next one. Something toxic can be concealed as something you like. When you like something it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Think of someone who likes to tan in the sun. They can convince themselves that the sun is natural and sitting outside for an hour or 2 won’t harm them. Their purpose being that they like to tan right? There are benefits we get from the sun like vitamin D, however, there’s a lot of damage we can get as well. Sun burn, UV rays, drying out your skin making it age a bit faster, you get the idea.
People who appeal to us and share common interests can also just not be a good fit. After spending some time with that person or people, you realize you don’t like the way they treat other people or how they speak with you. You may think that the conversations you have just repeat over and over without learning anything new or beneficial. Relationships can be broken and you should not feel shy or ashamed to avoid someone.
The first person to take care of is yourself.
If you want to change your life so it goes in a certain direction, that may mean experiencing loneliness for a while. But if you continue to push yourself and meet new people who share interests which you also have then it’s worth it. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude or mean to those people either. It’s also important to remember that people do change for the better and those people who come back into your life may do so with a new perspective which isn’t toxic to you. Practicing caution is good so that we don’t unnecessarily shut people out.
OTHERS ARE LIKE POISON.
Hopefully, I was clear already in the difference between the last point and this one. Poison is deadly, lethal. It’s like falling down a cliff once you get too close. It’s more difficult to define who is poison and who is not, but poison can be avoided altogether if you can identify people who benefit you. There are qualities that people have like integrity and honesty which are invaluable. Someone who constantly lies and blames others won’t help you in the long run. They may end up hurting you, badly. It’s important to look for good qualities and give credit to those who have them. I’m not talking about constantly praising them, no. Actions speak louder than words so you should show them the same respect they show you. Someone who is poisonous to you may say nice things and compliment you without really doing anything selfless. Poison never benefits anyone else, so it’s important to look for the signs to avoid it.