You Are The Company You Keep Essay

, Research Paper

I’ve been influenced by a number of people in my 21 years here on this earth; by my

parents, teachers, family/extended family and friends. I have never been influenced in

a negative fashion except by some of my previous so called friends . Friends play a

large role in whatever is happening in your life at any given point in time. Ever hear

someone say, “I/he/she/they were hanging out with the ‘wrong’ crowd?” Well, it’s no

joke. One’s choice of friends relates directly to their performance in life.

When I was a junior high school kid I lived in a small town surrounded by lakes and

trees and had lots of friends. I did my school work diligently and met every deadline

there was. Well, that is, until I passed on into grade 11. When you become a ’senior’ in

a small town, at a small school, your importance increases as does your whereabouts.

As it turned out, I started spending more of my spare time with a larger number

friends. Going out for coffees during spares, water skiing in the summer, and

discussing boredom in the winter. While my school work always did take priority over

play-time, that seemed to change as did my fellow companions. I had to deal with

offers such as: “Hey, Karen, wanna skip math and go cliff jumping?” Or, “Psst!! Let’s

ditch Mrs. Bassett and go play pool at Rob’s.” If you have three people who are into it,

and one who is not, you can bet that the rest of the group is going to do their best to

change that one little mind. They do that for the sole purpose of presenting a bigger

group of people to the attendance officer. Because there’s power in numbers. Because

they don’t want to receive a lecture alone. And that one little mind is going to do it’s

best to prevent being considered un-cool.

Consider that you are working a full-time job and all of your friends are on welfare.

Ever been in that position? Well, I have, and in my opinion, it is the antithesis of fun.

I’d be at home getting ready for bed at 11:00pm and the phone rings. It’s my best

friend. She tells me about this wicked band that’s performing right around the corner

from my house and of all the people who are going to attend. I say: “Hmmm. I don’t

have any money, plus I have to work at 9:00am. I think I’ll pass on this one. Thanks for

the offer though.” She fires right back that she’ll pay for me (she’s the one on

welfare) and that I only have to come for one drink. I continue to resist but after ten

minutes of her convincing psycho babble, I find myself slipping into some funky outfit

waiting for the honk of the cab’s horn. After more than one drink, I stumble in the

door of my home wondering how I’m going to get up for work the next day. The answer

becomes clear in my mind…crystal clear. I’m calling in sick, and that’s it! Continue like

this for any length of time and you’ll be guaranteed a great position as an unemployed

welfare recipient, just like those great friends of yours.

Not only will your job suffer hanging out with those stragglers portrayed above, but so

will your motivation. Say, for instance, that you managed to keep your job. You

skipped out on the drinks and parties a few times, (which may account for your current

employment), but you’re still making room in your schedule to spend quality time with

your friends. Are you really gung-ho about bouncing out of bed in the morning so you

can make it to your great job? Do you enjoy saying farewell to a group of people about

to go to a house party so you can go home and get a good night’s rest? And after that,

do you listen with eager anticipation to all the details of that party, with a big smile on

your face, happy that you missed it? Are you keen on repeating this again and again

and again until you’re ‘friends’ stop inviting and/or calling you? I think not. I am

guessing that your motivation will lie in trying to get out of your obligations so you can

join in the fun. Agreed?

You’d best be finding some friends who have similar lifestyles before you do, in fact,

join the clan of the careless. I suppose it depends how much self discipline one

employs. But no matter how strong you might be, decisions would just be a lot easier if

there were none to make. So perhaps you might consider chilling with people you meet

at work, or school, or wherever you may meet people who share likewise priorities.

Because when differences occur, human nature try’s to resolve them. So, if a time

arises in your life when you’re not doing so well at living up to your responsibilities, I’d

advise not looking to your friends for advice. Because they just might have something

else in mind.



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