I an a reasonably anti-social creature.
I have a small group of friends that I consider myself close to.
One is from high school,
a few are from university and college;
others from work, my children's school, the internet and so on.
What do they have in common?
They are really good people.
Yes, we all have our failings
(like leaving the toilet seat up
or voting for Clive Palmer)
but the people that I consider my friends are people
who are generally happy, supportive, honest and generous.
In recent years
I have had the unpleasant experience
of interacting with people who essentially aren't any of these things.
They have come from immediate family, professionally,
and in my wider friendship group.
They can be unbelievably nasty.
They are selfish
and they are narrow-minded.
They distort the truth to suit them.
They don't think or honestly don't care
about how their actions affect other people.
When I was younger,
I put up with a few so-called friends like that
even though they treated me badly.
These are the sort of people who would make me
start to question my own adequacy
or, worse still, start to act like they do.
But now I am older.
I have more life experience
and I have met a lot of really good people.
In the past 12 months,
I have seen people act in the worse way possible
and I have seen others help out with a generosity
of spirit that has been overwhelming.
I know that is how life goes
but you know what?
Life is too short.
The arseholes can just bugger off.
When you realise what good human beings are capable of,
you know that you need to surround yourself with them.
They will make you feel better about yourself and life in general.
But, more importantly,
they make you a better person.