Guilty by Association


Influence
; an unseen force that can have both positive and negative effects on our minds. You may remember your parents telling you when you were young to choose your friends carefully. What they did not realise is that friends at least can be chosen, parents on the other hand cannot. So, what happens when you choose your friends but come from a broken family?

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Situations, scenarios, and the very environment we live in continue to shape our behaviour. We are all now here as a product of our past, but where we go from here is entirely up to us. However, knowing the path and walking the path are two separate things. There are plenty of things that can occur while we’re walking to sway us from our intended destination. The only way to stay focussed is through discipline. Unfortunately, people don’t like being disciplined and told what to do.

The fact is, some lessons in life are meant to be learnt the hard way. Most parents tend to share with their children bad things that have happened to them because they did not follow the “right-way” as a means to prevent them from making the same mistakes. Unfortunately, each individual is unique and so is their view of the world. Individuals process things in their minds differently despite being exposed to the same stimulus.

I’m going to use smoking as an example here. Nobody is born with the urge to smoke. People get influenced to do it by the very people that surround them. Friends and family included. Despite all the advice and warnings, they continue to do so for a very long time. Then, as they get older, get married and have children, the “graphic” health implications represented by a picture on the cigarette box starts to make some sense. They start thinking about being there to witness their children’s marriage and holding their grandchildren in their hands. The idea of quitting smoking now becomes a little more convincing in their minds. The picture on the cigarette box, which they have seen for many years, starts becoming real.

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