When I was 18 years old, I had my first significant encounter with “the law”. Ninteen days before graduating from high school, and pretty much set for college, I spent that Sunday afternoon out with my friend Johnnie, and a few people that he knew. I should have known something was wrong however when we got a ride up to the mall, but his frien Romeo pulled up with a car when we decided to go home. There’s something compelling about the forbidden fruit however, and thus I was more than pleased to accept the ride.
Not being a very good criminal however, I didn’t really think much of the fact that the stolen car was still being driven around 3 days later, and in fact, was running low on gas… at which point they decided to go fill it up. And that’s where things got hairy, when the police car pulled up
One of the phrases I heard frequently growing up, when one of my friends would do something less than savory, was that they were ‘hanging out with the wrong crowd’. Now, forgetting the basic fact that the other kids’ parents were probably saying the same thing about all of the other kids in said group, I’ve found that this tends to be something of a true statement. You generally pick up the habits and mannerisms of people with whom you tend to associate. Now, this can be viewed positively or negatively, but it’s apparently enough of a truism that it’s been with us forever.
The basic fact of this is the old addage “Associations leads to assimilation” has often proven itself true, and most people can think of a scenario where they’ve done something they’d have ordinarily not done because ‘everyone else was doing it’. Thus, this is one of the main lessons I’d like my kids to learn, sometimes you have to stand alone, in order to make a real impact on those around you. At the very least, doing what you know is right, in lieu of what people think will make you happier in the long run.
Proverbs 13: 10 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.