Investment that pays rich dividends

What do you do when you get angry with your friends and relatives? Do you stop talking with them till your anger ebbs and at the same time have an urge to talk and feel something is holding you back?  Asked an acquaintance of mine (who is a    practicing   sociologist) as we were having dinner in a hotel.

Though I felt the question came out of the blue my response was   rather   spontaneous. “First of all I don’t believe in protesting silently when I am angry and keeping them guessing as to the reason for my silence. I’d rather sort out the issue at the nearest opportunity by talking it out with the person/s concerned. It   may cause some unpleasantness but the issue will be nipped in the bud,” I said.

“Will you react the same way with both friends and relatives?” she asked after a long pause.  

Why should there be a difference? I almost shot back.

The incident set me thinking for days and     I tried to analyze to see the importance of the two categories of people in our lives. One category constitutes our blood and distant relatives and the other our circle of friends (which includes our inner as well as outer circle). I concluded that both categories of people are equally important and one cannot either under estimate or over estimate either of the categories of people as we need both in our lives.  What is even more important is like any investment, one needs to invest in friendships and relationships and needs to work towards their enhancement.  Investing  in   real estate, shares  or the  yellow metal    might pay rich dividends in terms of monetary value  and support despite the swings they undergo but   investment  in relationships both with friends and relatives  is equally important  as it provides the all important moral support in one’s life and more so  in times of need.  

Investment in relationships with people, be it relatives or friends   can be compared to a fixed deposit in a bank. Whatever be the amount you invest in a fixed deposit in a bank the money grows within a period of time and when you choose to withdraw, a sizable amount is in your hands and you benefit. The more number of times you renew when your fixed deposit expires, the richer is the outcome in terms of money.  Similarly, if you invest in relationships and renew them from time to time  a healthy relationship between  persons  evolves  resulting in rich dividends (however in relationships you don’t  allow them to  expire, renewing them in this context means keeping in touch with people).

A common refrain you hear in the present scenario of increasing number of working couples is “where is the time to keep in touch with people?” Ask them whether they are in touch with their friends, prompt comes the answer, “certainly we are because friends are not the same as relatives”

Unfortunately  this divide between  friends and relatives, blood relations included  seems to be widening  with the former taking precedence over the latter  and  the adage  out of sight, out of mind  appears  to   apply only  to the latter category  of people. If  only  we realize  that  both  friends and  relatives  are  equally  important  and  we are able  to maintain  our friendships  and relationships without  sidelining or giving up  the latter for  the former, we will truly acquit  ourselves  in society.   


n.meera raghavendra rao


2 thoughts on “Investment that pays rich dividends

  1. orrvee

    I think there is a real difference between relatives and friends. Our PM once said: We have no choice over our neighbors. Likewise, we have no choice over our relatives. They are simply there: good, bad and indifferent. This is not the case with friends, where you have a choice.

    When discussing the renting out of an apartment, an auditor friend once said: “Never ever rent out to relatives. You have had it!” On the other side, there are traditional people who have very warm and affectionate relationships with their relatives but very few friends. I guess it is a question of how much you are in or out of the traditional system.

    1. meerarao

      please read my tribute to my m-in-law on My m-in-law (a blend of tradition and modernity) was a standing ex. of being equally popular with her host of relatives and friends. I guess there are others like her in this world.

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