In Malaysia this year a devotee asked Swami advise for youth on friends and friendship:
Dust, in the company of water, goes down the drain. Dust, if it keeps the company of the wind, goes up towards the sky. Based on what kind of company you keep, you will either go up in life, or go down in life. You must choose your company very carefully. Youngsters are so careful when they want to buy a pair of shoes; you will go to ten shops, harass ten shopkeepers, bargain and negotiate and finally, you may choose one pair or you may not and come back again the next day to harass many more shopkeepers!
If you want to buy a watch, you will look at a hundred models before you select one. If you buy sunglasses, you will put ten on your face and see how you look, and take advice and see more. If you are so careful in selecting what you want to use and where you are going to stay, how much more careful should you be in choosing the people who are going to define, change and influence your life? Put that much effort.
Here is a simple formula: Will you waste money buying a shoe that does not fit you, just because it looks good? Will you buy a watch because it is beautiful, but does not work? Will you buy sunglasses that you think are nice, but do not fit your face? You are not going to waste your money on such things. You will not buy an oversized or undersized shirt if it does not fit you. What fits you is what you should take.
What is your size? Your size is that of God. God fits God, or godly things. You must select only such people and keep their company. If the friendships do not lead you towards God, do not help you become selfless, kind, compassionate and loving, then it is pointless; it does not fit you. It is somebody else’s size; let it go to them. You have to look for the right kind of people who are going to help you become more divine in your nature. Just because others look attractive, are popular or have interesting things to say or do, do not go and become friends with them. It is like buying a very expensive pair of shoes, just because it looks good, even though it does not fit you well. You have to be careful. Discrimination is needed.