Think before you cut

When I became Muslim at age 22, I gave an ultimatum to all my friends and family and said if you’re not with this Islam right now then we can say goodbye. Not in those words, but in spirit.

I said goodbye to 99% of the people in my life that year.

Ten years later, since rebuilding some of those bridges, I learned that some of my old family & friends had passed away. Some of them won’t respond to me. Some of them just disappeared. I may never know their story, even though they still loom large in my mind.

There is a trend these days to have folks to sever ties with family and friends over their reaction to the current events in the world. They brag about this like it’s a sign of courage or virtue. “So what if I lose such-and-such? I can build new relationships with better people! I don’t need them!”

It is not as easy as you think it is to build new relationships once you hit the age of 30, especially if you’re a man. Most people stop making new friends at that age. During high school, you made friends by osmosis; by being next to each other in class, or even through your parents. This isn’t high school anymore. Your job, your family, and your responsibilities will busy you and those who you assume will pop up to fill that void in your life.

Sure, things might go the way you think they will. Or, you may make the wrong kind of friends, like fair-weather friends or bad influences for various reasons. You may not make any new friends at all, but end up significantly more alone or dependent on a small handful of people.

Have you thought about whether you or they will be okay with that?

Things to ponder that will help you in your decision:

  1. All people contain a touch of evil in them. Yes, that includes your closest friends, your personal heroes, and even YOU. As the old saying goes, "He who smelt it dealt it." So slow down, back up and interrogate yourself before you interrogate your loved ones; you might need to boycott your own self for a while.

  2. No man is an island, and I speak from experience. You may think you don’t need so-and-so, or you’re better off without them— but have you ever asked yourself: “How will I replace them? What if I can’t replace them?”

I’m skeptical of this new trend of cutting off relationships to show how dedicated to the cause, or how courageous you are. Call me a coward if you wish. I've already been through it, and I'm over it. It doesn't impress me.

Thanks for reading. -Tyler