Thursday, October 24, 2013

Beware of the company you keep

There is an old  saying "Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you what kind of a person you are." This may sound old fashioned in today’s context but there is no gainsaying the fact that there’s a grain of truth in this dictum We are affected by the company we keep, directly or indirectly, sometimes in unexpected ways.

The vine that has grown old on an old tree falls with the ruin of that tree and through that bad companionship must perish with it. 
  - Leonardo da Vinci, painter, engineer, musician, and scientist (1452-1519)

Leonardo da Vinci’s quote may appear applicable only if we are dependent on others. But remote connections can also cause us problems. There are numerable examples of people close to political leaders or businessmen enjoying the benefits of their intimacy for a period but getting into trouble with law enforcing agencies or tax authorities when the politicians or business people get into some problem.

The idea is not to suggest that we should be choosy in selecting our acquaintances. This may not be possible. But we should be aware  of the possible consequences of our acquaintances and be prepared, at least mentally to face problems when the going gets tough for our acquaintances. We should also learn to keep appropriate distances from different people.

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