The phrase "birds of a feather flock together" sums up the next tip in this series. Who you hang around will more than likely determine what you do and how you act. Here's a good example: when I'm back home visiting my family, I'm loud, country, and comfortable. I clown around and love to laugh. When I'm teaching at school, things are a little different. I try to be on my best behavior. I make sure all my I's are dotted and all my T's are crossed. I do my job. When I'm with my friends, it's a different atmosphere altogether. The same is true with you. When you're with your family, you probably act a little differently than when you're with your friends. You adapt to your environment, kinda like a chameleon.
The point I hope to make in this tip is for you to consider who you're around and how that changes your character's DNA (I know that's not a thing but I think it sounds pretty cool). There's a group willing to accept you, no matter what your interests are. Want to do drugs and alcohol? There's a group for that. How about being cool and popular? Yep, there's a group for that. What about being just an average guy? There's a group for that too. Have you thought about being in a group that may not be as popular but has your best interests at heart? What about one that will keep you in line and help you live the best life you can now and later? Sure, there's definitely a group for that. It might be a little harder to find but if you can't find one, create one!
I know, I know... doing the right thing and being with a group of "goody goodies" is not cool. I get it. Last week, I had breakfast with a group of teens and I asked the question "is doing the right thing really worth it"? We took a look at a Psalm written by Asaph (Psalm 73) and listened to him complain about how doing the right thing sucked (obviously he didn't say it that way but you get my point). He wrote about how he watched people do the wrong things but it seemed like they were living life in the fast lane, getting "social promotions", and enjoying every minute of it. He questioned how doing right was a benefit to him. Wow! I could definitely relate to this. Growing up, I felt the same way. The good news is that I had a group of friends that supported me and it definitely helped. I did my best to stay the course and I can see how some of the people living life in the fast lane ended up in a ditch (not a real ditch, duh). To answer the question, doing the right thing is definitely worth it. Doing it with a group of friends makes it a thousand times better.
The bottom line is that I want you to understand the company you keep has a major effect on who you are and who you will become. It is nice to have a group of people that will help support you and keep you in check. If you can't think of at least three people in your friend group that challenge you to do the right thing, you might want to consider finding a few. It will make all the difference. I hope this helps!
Written 1/27/2016 by John Weaver