“My idea of good company, Mr. Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.”
“You are mistaken,” said he gently, “that is not good company; that is the best. Good company required only birth, education, and manners, and with regard to education is not very nice. Birth and good manners are essential; but a little learning is by no means a dangerous thing in good company; on the contrary, it will do very well. My cousin Anne shakes her head. She is not satisfied. She is fastidious. My dear cousin” (sitting down by her), “you have a better right to be fastidious than almost any other woman I know; but will it answer? Will it make you happy? Will it not be wiser to accept the society of those good ladies in Laura Place, and enjoy all the advantages of the connexion as far as possible? You may depend upon it, that they will move in the first set in Bath this winter, and as rank is rank, your being known to be related to them will have its use in fixing your family (our family let me say) in that degree of consideration which we must all wish for.” ~ Persuasion by Jane Austen
Does this exchange not remind you of another?
“Think my name’s funny, do you? No need to ask who you are. My father told me all the Weasleys have red hair, freckles, and more children than they can afford.”
He turned back to Harry. “You’ll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there.”
He held out his hand to shake Harry’s, but Harry didn’t take it.
“I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks,” he said cooly.
Draco Malfoy didn’t go red, but a pink tinge appeared in his pale cheeks.
“I’d be careful if I were you, Potter,” he said slowly. “Unless you’re a bit politer you’ll go the same way as your parents. They didn’t know what was good for them, either. You hang around with riffraff like the Weasleys and that Hagrid, and it’ll rub off on you.” ~ Sorcerer’s Stone
Okay, so, the conversations aren’t exact replicas, but they carry within them the same message. One side believes that birth and status should play a part in the choosing of company, or friends. The other side leans more to the agreeableness and overall character of the person.
Anne finds her solace, not in the noble class in which she was born, but with naval officers and their families. With common people of good character and liberal generosity. Harry, very much like Anne, does the same. He is in a position where he has a choice. Any group or class will readily accept him, but he chooses a Weasley. A poor boy with a few jealousy issues but an overall friendly, generous, and agreeable character. Harry gains neither status or influence or wealth by this friend choice, but he does gain love and friendship and loyalty and family.
I guess it is up to each of us to choose what we value more. For me, I’d choose the Weasleys and Crofts and Musgrows any day over the Elliots and Malfoys. I’d rather have true, rich, deep friendships with people I can be myself around and still be loved than base my relationships upon a social ladder.
Jesus chose like Anne and Harry. He didn’t pick the nobility or high ranking people of his day. Rather he went to those with whom he could have a deep, loving, loyal friendship with—those who were despised by the nobility. They became his closest friends and confidants—even dying rather than turn their backs on him (post resurrection, and not including Judas Iscariot).
How do you choose your friends?
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ~ 1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)