Company You Keep

While doing a podcast on the role of fathers in today’s world, I came across a quote that applies to not only raising children, but maintaining ourselves and keeping us out of bad situations, bad choices, and bad outcomes.  It deals with being aware of the company we keep.  Children are often reminded to watch out who they hang out with; "one bad apple spoils the whole bunch" is a quote that comes to mind.  Especially when keeping in mind kids are easily influenced.  However, we as adults can be prey to the same influences though we often don't even think about it as we are older, more experienced, and wiser to the ways of the world and human nature.  People naturally gravitate to those who present as physically attractive, compassionate, well-spoken, interesting, or come across as interested in us.  Yet it is that smiling face, that attractive, well-spoken person that can lead us into personal compromise that puts us at risk.  It is that individual we allow into our lives that can lead us into ruin with regard to moral posture, relationships, finances, or legal liability.  Before forming close relationships, take the same position as you do with a child.  Ask yourself who this person is who is trying to get close to me, what is their motive(s), what is their goal with me, and is there a cost to being associated with this individual.  Good relationships can make us better and bring joy to our lives.  A bad one, cloaked in the camouflage of harmlessness, can ruin us.  Be aware.
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