Oh, what a pair, a snail and a slug. – Basque Proverb
When I first saw this proverb, I laughed. First, because this one isn’t about farm animals, but randomly about snails and slugs. It doesn’t seem to fit with the theme of dogs, birds, wolves, and bears of other Basque proverbs.
Second, because I had no idea what it meant. At first glance, this proverb eluded me and just seemed silly. But apparently, it’s about people with similar flaws spending time together. (Thanks for the decoding, Buber!)
Isn’t it true though? My mind goes to recovery from drugs and alcohol, where programs essentially have you cut off ties with most of your old friends. Because if your thing is consuming mass quantities of illicit substances, then you’re probably hanging out with people who like to do the same.
While I’ve never been to rehab, this proverb reminds me of the friends I am no longer close with because I don’t want to be like them. For a while I wanted to change the amount that I gossiped, so I diminished contact with my most gossip-hungry and shit-talking friends.
While that seemed to work, we all have flaws. We can’t get away from that. Once you tackle one, there are always more to work on. So I wonder now what aspects make me a snail or a slug.
Pay attention to the people with whom you surround yourself. Are they positive influences? Do they build you up? Or are they slugs?