n i c e h e a r t

Choose your friends by character

Choose your friends by character 

Last summer, I’ve passed by this school quite a few times and have read this quote every time.  “Choose socks by colour and friends by character.  Never the opposite. “   

We were on our way home from the birthday party of a friend who lives in the outskirts of the city when I pointed this sign to my kids and asked them, “Do you know what it means?”  My 12-year-old son, Ryan, thought for a moment, and said, “Yeah, I think I get it.”  And just to make sure, I explained to him, “You know how socks sometimes have different characters in them, like the Disney characters, or Looney Toons, and how your friends have different colour of skin?”  And he said, “Yeah, yeah, mommy, I get it.” 

Another thing I like living here in Canada is that there is a diverse group of people here.  We are a mixture of different peoples from different parts of the world.  Since at a young age, my children are already exposed to this diversity and they are used to seeing people of different colours of eyes, hair, and skin.  And colour has never been the determining factor in choosing their friends.  But rather, they choose friends who have the same interests as them or who they enjoy hanging out with.  They choose friends who are nice to them, make them laugh, and make them feel good.   

And I hope that when they get older, they will choose friends who are honest, reliable or trustworthy.  Or someone who they can confide to and be a shoulder to cry on.  Or someone who will be by their side through thick and thin.  That’s how I choose my friends.

What about you?  How do you choose your friends?

Ryan and friends on their 6th grade graduation

About these ads

March 31, 2007 - Posted by | Raising the 3Rs

72 Comments »

  1. I guess I choose them by their characters because their attitudes matter to me, a lot … :)

    Comment by Kyels | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hmm…I never thought of that..but if I gauge from the friends I have, then I guess I choose according to character too–they are of all personalities, shapes, colors and sizes, the variety makes life quite an adventure. :) Love that sign by the way!

    Comment by Gypsy | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  3. Great message! I hope my daughter will also grow up blind to people’s skin color.

    Mas bihira ba ang incidents of racism sa Canada vs. the US, niceheart?

    Comment by Christianne | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  4. This post is blog of the minute on wordpress.com right about now. Hmmn. How do blogs get chosen? They must have liked what I’ve written. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  5. That’s good then, Kyels.

    Gypsy, I also believe in the saying that variety is the spice of life. And thanks, I’m glad you like it too. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  6. Christianne, I don’t really know the statistics of racism here and how it compares to U.S. I’m sure there are racists here or in any part of the world. But I haven’t experienced it that much. Of course, when I first came here, there were times when I felt prejudiced, but overall, people here are accepting of minorities like myself and other people of different race. Actually, in schools, children are always being taught of empathy and tolerance. My youngest son was just telling me last week before they had their spring break, that they had an assembly at school and they talked about tolerance. And he explained to me how he understood it. It was right on. He said they were told to “respect others for who they are, like when someone is from a different country.”

    Comment by niceheart | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  7. We here in Canada are quite lucky because of our very effective, no-nonsense enforcement of our Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Hate laws and very few understood that we have to accept some reasonable limitations to our rights to achieved them. And someday it will reflect on the the cultures and characters of all Canadians….

    Comment by vic | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  8. my 5-year old son is still oblivious to color. like us, he will be “color-blind” when it comes to dealing with people.

    re: Christianne’s question about racism in Canada vs. US: I have lived in the US for 20 years (since we were very young) and would you believe I have seen more racism in the Philippines than all my 20 years here in the US? Sad, Filipinos in the Philippines are more prejudiced when it comes to African-Americans, Koreans and even Chinese. I’m lucky to be where I am as people here are more tolerant than Filipinos in general.

    Comment by purplegirl | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  9. Prior to my leaving Manila for NYC, my eldest sister advised me to seek friends who are much smarter than I am. I heeded her advise. I eventually hooked up with two who were to become my best friends. Not once did they see me as a Fiipino and then Eric; it was Eric first, Filipino second, or sometimes my being Filipino hardly came into the equation.

    I learned much from them, but they only learned one important lesson about me — not to upset me. Once I had them take care of my puppy while I had gone out of town. My puppy somehow broke free; ran out in the street; and almost got hit by a cab. Both later confessed that as they were chasing my puppy, foremost in their mind was were to relocate if my puppy were to get run over and die. Hehehe!

    But more seriously, they became my best friends simply they allow me to be Eric.

    Comment by eric aka senor enrique | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  10. I’m not surprised it’s the blog of the minute. Good post niceheart :-)
    Anyway, I live in a multi cultural society too. And so far, I haven’t been discriminated. I have friends of different nationalities so I can say I’m colourblind… they’re my friends because they treat me like a proper friend, not because of my colour…

    Comment by pining | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  11. Hey, congratulations! There are millions of wordpress blogs out there. But yours probably is the best post. Good on you. And yes, before I read that, by the title alone, it’s already a winner.

    Racism is all over. But sometimes, there are just other people who have more hatred in their hearts. It’s sad.

    Re: purplegirl’s observation. I heard about this also. They say some Filipinos in one part of the US bring with them crab mentality [another story].

    For me, I choose by character. I can get on with any race. And yes, sometimes even better with them than fellow Filipinos.

    Comment by ipanema | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  12. Purplegirl, that’s good that your son is also “colour-blind.” That’s what’s so wonderful with children. They are innocent and unaware of all these worldly stuff.

    Unlike you, I haven’t really seen a lot of racism in the Philippines, as well. But if that is true, it could only be probably because there are not a lot of foreigners back home as there are here in Canada and U.S. And because of that it was not really dealt with at school or there are probably no anti-racist laws. I don’t even remember being taught about racism in school when I was still studying there.

    Comment by niceheart | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  13. Your sister is a wise person Eric. :) I think it’s nice that you became best friends with two Americans. (?) I, myself, don’t have any close friendships with people outside our race, but I have good relationships with people at work, not just the locals but also those who came from other countries.

    I wonder how they learned that important lesson. Thank goodness your puppy didn’t get run over. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  14. Thanks pining. It probably last up there for only a few minutes. :)

    It’s good that you also don’t find discrimination there. I think that’s the way it is in multi-cultural environment. People become more tolerant of each other’s differences.

    Comment by niceheart | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  15. Thank you Ipanema. Although it was only blog of the minute. :) The last time I saw my site there was on November 20, blog of the day naman. :)

    It’s true and sad nga that there are people who choose to carry hatred in their hearts. And more sad to hear that there are also Filipinos like that. :(

    Comment by niceheart | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  16. You are right vic. And I guess that’s the reason why we don’t see a lot of hate crimes here. And I am really quite satisfied that tolerance is being taught to children even in elementary school. And hopefully, these children will grow up to be respectful of all races and cultures.

    Comment by niceheart | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  17. cute signboard which I think creates alot of awareness for kids these days. We do not get that in Singapore though. It is all through ‘education’ and ‘textbooks’.

    Comment by Ms Fair Face | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  18. Ms Fair Face, I’m just curious, is there also a diversity of cultures in Singapore?

    Comment by niceheart | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  19. That is a simple but insightful quote. When I was younger I’ve always wanted to have penpals from other countries (there were no emails yet). The only foreign penpal i had was Greek, and we had so much fun writing each other. I remember wanting a Russian penpal (that time russia was still Communist) simply because I wanted to learn other cultures.

    I think racism in the Philippines are extremes: some Filipinos treat blacks and Arab-looking foreigners like they’re not trustworthy, and treat white-skinned foreigners like they’re sooo special. I’m really disgusted with that kind of mentality.

    Comment by lisaflor | April 1, 2007 | Reply

  20. This is a very meaningful quote. I have so much to learn about friendship and sometimes you do learn things the hard way. I recently had a very painful experience on this…. I guess you really have to chooe your friends and carefully and always place a borderline so you won’t get hurt.

    God bless!

    Comment by sassy mom | April 1, 2007 | Reply

    • exactly i like learning so much about friendship and other things, i would be pleaseing that i could talk to you easily.

      Comment by reza | December 2, 2009 | Reply

  21. I never choose a friend co’z I am by nature a friendly person and I can also be a friend as long as they want me to be! But since I had a bad experience (coming from a best friend) now I know to have reservation for myself. My only concern is to choose very carefully and keep those who are TRUSTED !

    Racism is everywhere, it’s not the question of nationality but depending on one’s mentality ! And I guess, it relies on us parent to educate our children that skin-colours doesn’t represent someone’s personality and character ! Great campaign to advertise and SAY NO TO RACISM !!!

    Comment by haze | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  22. We still have a lot to learn about treating people of all colors and shapes and sizes and scents equally, no? Children have a long way to learn not to laugh at those who look differently. But how can they know any better if their olders don’t teach by example. I gues It is partly all these television shows and films that poke fun at the maitim, pangit, may kapansanan, mataba, matanda. oh well … Dunno how the educational system can infuse the values of judging people by what they are not how they look.

    Comment by annamanila | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  23. Yes, they were both born and raised in NYC; their parents were immigrants from Europe, except for one whose mother was a Midwestern WASP.

    It was strange, the Filipino friends I had I met at work (and became very close with them also) but they were older. My neighborhood didn’t have any other Filipinos residents at that time.

    I used to shut them out and refused to speak to them for a couple of weeks whenever they upset me (usually borne out of intense disagreements over silly matters). But eventually, we’d all forgive and forget and become friends again.

    Comment by eric aka senor enrique | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  24. Very nice post niceheart. Judging other people by appearance is a big no-no to me. What matters to me is their deed.

    Comment by tin | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  25. congrats on being Blog of the Minute. :D

    I also choose friends by their character. Re socks, is it possible to choose socks by their character? hehe. Anyway, will racial harmony ever be achieved? I don’t know. It seems like it’ll never disappear completely. Sometimes I think progress is being made, other times I think we’re regressing. One can only hope more and more people are color-blind.

    Comment by Wil | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  26. John Pritchard school should be commended for enforcing anti-descrimation act among their students. Good administration, I must say. I wouldn’t hesitate to send my children to this school if I were looking for a school for them.

    Where we are right now, racism still exists though not obvious. Children are born, color blind, they can only be taught to hate someone just for being a different color/sexuality/religion. Sad, but true.

    Comment by Belle | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  27. Good post, niceheart – I’m not surprised that it was chosen Blog of the Minute.

    I am happy to say that the closest friends I have are the same friends I had about 30-33 years ago. I didn’t have any criteria for friends – many of us didn’t even go to the same school and those of us who came from the same school weren’t even classmates. But somehow, we “found” each other and traveled through the years with our friendship intact – good times and bad times, sad and happy, ups and downs.

    As for racism, yes, it is sad to say that it exists in the Philippines. I guess it’s because this is an issue that is not taken up in most schools and also because children see people on TV making fun of non-Filipinos.

    Comment by bugsybee | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  28. Lisaflor, my kids’ elementary school has a teacher-exchange program with Australia. They had an Australian teacher when they were in second grade and their teacher also arranged for them to have penpals from Australia. I’ve read some of the letters they exchanged and I think it was also nice for them to learn about each other’s country and culture.

    Comment by niceheart | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  29. Sassy mom, yes it’s true that we do learn a lot not only from friendships, but any relationships we have with people. I’m sorry to hear about your painful experience. But sometimes we really can’t avoid getting hurt. It’s just part of life. I know this post is about choosing friends, but I guess sometimes we can’t be too picky. I think there is a need in each and everyone of us to be a friend of anybody and we’ll take whoever is willing to take us. But of course you are also right that there should be a borderline.

    Comment by niceheart | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  30. Haze, I’m also sorry to hear about your bad experience. And I have the same thoughts for you in my comment to sassy mom. I guess I am lucky because I haven’t been betrayed by friends yet. Or it could probably because I don’t have that many that I can call really close friends. :) Sounds kind of pathetic ba.? :)

    And I agree with you that parents have a big part in children’s understanding of what’s going on in the world. Education really starts at home.

    Comment by niceheart | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  31. Annamanila, I agree with you. We still have a lot to learn about each other’s differences. I think when my son learned about tolerance in school, it didn’t only refer to skin colour, but also how some people are different because of physical disability, or as Belle had mentioned, religion and sexuality.

    It’s true that the media could also influence children in treating people who are different. That’s why I’m glad when I see advertisements on TV that raise these issues. Yes, there are some of those here. There are public anouncements / commercials that remind us how we hurt people when we call them names. And I point that out to my kids too.

    Comment by niceheart | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  32. I’ll continue answering comments tomorrow. It’s getting late and I have to get up really early tomorrow. Til next time. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  33. Very meaningful post Niceheart :)

    Same. Personality tramps appearance when it comes to friends.

    Comment by verns | April 3, 2007 | Reply

  34. Eric, there were already a lot of Filipinos here in Winnipeg when I came here. Also my mother has already established friendships with many kababayans, so I have always been surrounded with them. I know, sometimes it’s hard to get along with people from the previous generation. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 3, 2007 | Reply

  35. very nice quote… important for kids to be with people of character :) Growing up is not easy. Children need to look up to friends who can influence them in a positive way :)

    Comment by bw | April 3, 2007 | Reply

  36. Thank you tin. And good for you. We should really never judge a book by its cover. :)

    Thanks, Wil. It’s a very short-lived fame. Although I noticed that my blog stayed on the top 100 for at least a few hours. :) I also don’t know if we’ll ever have racial harmony. But where I am, I think I see progress.

    Comment by niceheart | April 3, 2007 | Reply

  37. Belle, it’s not only John Pritchard School that promotes anti-discrimination. All the schools that my children have been to have always enforced this to their students. And yes, they should be commended for this effort. It’s true that children are born with all innocence and really sad that some are taught and learn how to hate.

    Comment by niceheart | April 3, 2007 | Reply

  38. Thank you bugsybee. I guess you’re lucky to have friends that long. I moved a lot when I was a kid and one of the hardest things I have learned from that was that you have to leave your friends too. There were a few I kept in touch with through letters but it’s different. You don’t maintain the same closeness as when you are at least in the same city.

    Comment by niceheart | April 3, 2007 | Reply

  39. Thanks verns. It’s nice to hear that you choose personality over appearance. :)

    I’m glad that you also like the quote, BW. And yes, children need all the good influence that they can get.

    Comment by niceheart | April 3, 2007 | Reply

  40. I also choose friends by their character. And I always tell to my kids not to underestimate or judge people with their physical looks.

    Comment by ann | April 3, 2007 | Reply

  41. Hey niceheart, can I use these pictures in one of my lessons? They good materials for my classes on prejudice and discrimination.

    Comment by sesame | April 4, 2007 | Reply

  42. I like this post a lot Niceheart. Short and simple but thought-provoking. Hindi ko nga naintindihan muna yung quote e… hehe… talo ako ni Ryan. :) And I love that picture too. Congratulations for being blog of the minute! That’s so coooool! :)

    Comment by Toe | April 4, 2007 | Reply

  43. you are simply amazing, niceheart. your blogs are always inspiring, that i can’t let a day pass without checking your site. para tuloy ‘chicken soup for the bloggers’ soul’ i have yet to explore all your other sites and dami palang magandang basahin. i’m not one of the regular bloggers just a visitor but i am beginning to enjoy reading all the entries. i wish i could start one too.

    Comment by rachel | April 4, 2007 | Reply

  44. Ann, I also tell the same things to my kids.

    Sure Sesame, go ahead and use them. I didn’t know that you teach. :)

    Thank you Toe. I know what you mean. Sa atin naman kasi plain lang ang mga socks at walang mga character designs. Dito kasi uso yun. :) Although I don’t buy those kinds for my kids. They’re more expensive kasi.

    Oh thank you for the kind words Rachel. Nice to hear that you enjoy my posts. Yeah, why not start your own blog? It’s very easy. Just click on the link to wordpress.com right here on this page. :) I’m sure you’ll also love it.

    Comment by niceheart | April 4, 2007 | Reply

  45. me and my friends have the same wavelength. difficult really to be in a group or with someone who have/has a different opinion, attitude or tastes.

    Comment by bingskee | April 4, 2007 | Reply

  46. I wish my kids will grow up knowing how to choose the right friends.

    Great post Irene!

    Comment by JO | April 5, 2007 | Reply

  47. Happy Easter niceheart!

    Comment by tin | April 6, 2007 | Reply

  48. yes i totally agree we should choose friend by character, i think thats what i do. although sometimes i am attracted by the color pero habang nakikilala ko ang isang tao by their character doon na ako nag dedecide if i want him/her to be my friend. nice sign.

    Comment by iskoo | April 6, 2007 | Reply

  49. i am not sure how i choose my friends. what i know is that in the course of time, friendships are developed.

    and just recently, it’s amazing how we have developed blog friendships in the blogoshpere!

    Happy Easter!

    Comment by sexy mom | April 7, 2007 | Reply

  50. Niceheart … oh my, I have been here before … i dropped by from pinoymomsnetwork, didn’t ?

    I just wish to add to all the wisdom about discrimination.

    You know, when I began to blog, I was a bit taken aback to find out this onlineworld is youth-dominated. Somehow, by some stroke of luck, ode2old — the site by vintage annamanila — has broken in. If it has not been mainstreamed, it’s on the way there. I found what I love to call a blog berks of 20, 30 something who have accepted the essential me, ignoring my demographics. haha. But I haven’t won them all. Can’t win em all, I guess. Medyo masakit. haha. I dunno why I am saying this to you when you’re a new acquaintance – but you sound, well, NICE. hahaha Pasensya na .. it’s one of those days. Will be back.

    Comment by annamanila | April 7, 2007 | Reply

  51. Oh I think the signboard is just about right and can’t be wrong. I do have a kind of similar policy with my kids, not to discriminate when it comes to having friends, to be tactful and not be like other mean kids who puts down weaker or poorer kids.

    In my case, I can say that I have rich friends and friends who are not as wealthy but I keep them and treat them just as similarly. I am fortunate that I have friends who are so wealthy by far but made me feel like I am just one of them and not left out.

    Comment by Major Tom | April 7, 2007 | Reply

  52. It’s a wonderful thing that in Canada, various races and nationalities can coexist in harmony. No wonder Filipinos love living there!
    It’s not as heterogeneous here in Japan – for as you may know, it was a closed society for so many years before. In my opinion, it’s not much about “color” as it is about who’s Japanese and who’s not. The term for foreigner is “gaikokujin” which literally means “from an outside country” and sometimes it gets derogated to “gaijin” or simply, “outsider.”
    Btw, sorry it’s taking me a long time, got too busy nowadays. Will let you know as soon as it’s finished. :)

    Comment by kathy | April 8, 2007 | Reply

  53. Thats, good Bing. I also know how hard it is to be with someone who has different opinions, tastes, etc.

    Thank you, JO. I’m sure your children will also learn how not to discriminate. :)

    Happy Easter to you, too, Tin and to everyone. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 8, 2007 | Reply

  54. Iskoo, I think sometimes I also have the same tendency to look at the appearance. But like you, once I get to know a person and his character, I’d easily take him/her as a friend. :)

    Happy Easter, too, sexy mom. I think that’s how it is with mostly anybody, we develop friendships. And yeah, thanks to the blogosphere, I also met many different friends even though I don’t know what they look like. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 8, 2007 | Reply

  55. Hello again, annamanila. Thanks for coming back. :) Yes, it’s taking me a long time to update with a new post. Been really busy. When I started blogging, I immediately found bloggers who are also around my age, so I didn’t feel that it was dominated by youngsters. :) Or maybe, my blog circle was so small then, I didn’t really notice. :)

    And thank you for thinking that I am nice. Although I hate to disappoint you, but I am not always nice. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 8, 2007 | Reply

  56. You are really lucky then, Major Tom to have such wealthy friends and they make you feel not left out. I don’t have such wealthy kind of friends. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 8, 2007 | Reply

  57. Kathy, yes, I think that’s one reason why we Filipinos love it here in Canada. As for Japan, it must hurt to be referred to as an outsider. But who knows, maybe later on, it will change. :)

    And about that. Don’t worry about it. I understand. We are all busy. And remember, it was me first who was super kupad. :) I think now we’re even. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 8, 2007 | Reply

  58. So, I was over at Karen‘s yesterday and I found out that her blog was also featured as Blog of the Minute at wordpress.com on Sunday. Turns out that it was all an Aprils Fool’s Day Joke. :) And here I thought that I’ve finally made it in the blogosphere. Sorry guys if I misled you. But I was the one who got fooled first. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 8, 2007 | Reply

  59. hey there! :)

    back n’ bloggin’!! :)

    Comment by ralphT | April 8, 2007 | Reply

  60. Hi, Irene! Happy Easter!

    I try to monitor who my kids go along with. And I try to know them personally as well. I’d much prefer that they hang out here in our house than anywhere else I have no idea of.

    Comment by rhodora | April 8, 2007 | Reply

  61. ganda talaga ng kulay natin no? kitang kita sa last picture

    Comment by iskoo | April 9, 2007 | Reply

  62. friends in living color!

    friends who love the same things I do
    friends who love me for all that I am
    :)

    Comment by tutubi | April 10, 2007 | Reply

  63. I am a Caucasian so I never suffered racism. Alas my son who is the product of a mixed marriage has a brown complexion. He experienced unfriendly remarks early on. In Belgian he was often called a “Chinese” by children. Or he got unfriendly remarks about the skin colour of his mother. Very sad but I fear he will have to live with those prejudices.
    But deep inside it hurts him and it hurts me!

    Comment by Sidney | April 10, 2007 | Reply

  64. Welcome back ralphT. Ano ba yan. Now we see you now we don’t. :)

    Same here, rhodora. Sometimes my kids also invite over their friends here at our house. But my oldest one, he usually goes over to their houses. I don’t know, baka nahihiya na because we’re different. :)

    Comment by niceheart | April 14, 2007 | Reply

  65. Of course, we could be biased iskoo. But I think every colour is beautiful. :)

    Nice poem ? tutubi. :)

    That’s too bad for your son, Sidney. And I understand how it also hurts you. As much as possible, we as parents don’t want our children to suffer prejudices. That is also one fear I have. And as much as I say that it’s not a big issue here, I know that at some point in their lives, my children will get a taste of it too.

    Comment by niceheart | April 14, 2007 | Reply

  66. grfghliy p

    Comment by lisa | August 9, 2007 | Reply

  67. Thats a true quote……Friendship is all that matter…..not the color of your friend

    Comment by Mohammed Salman | August 20, 2008 | Reply

  68. [...] who. Make conscious choices about the people with whom you spend time. Give less of your time and attention to those who are an [...]

    Pingback by 102 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Strengthen Your Relationships | Christians Do It Better | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  69. [...] who. Make conscious choices about the people with whom you spend time. Give less of your time and attention to those who are an [...]

    Pingback by ChickSpeak » News Archives » Building Real Relationships: Make Time For Others | November 5, 2008 | Reply

  70. ………………………………….XD

    Comment by S.T.A.R | November 10, 2011 | Reply

  71. I choose my by looking at compactibility of our ideas and philosoph of life. My friend must the type that will help me discover my latent potentials.

    Comment by Nnachi mba | November 12, 2011 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: