Artwork by Estela & Gustavo Caballero: Madre Teresa o Mother Teresa.
There is a saying said a great many ways. They capture the thinking of many, even me at one time.
Tell me what company you keep and I’ll tell you who you are.
Who hasn’t made a snap judgement? What happens after that initial idea you form about a person based on first impression? It depends on the situation– sometimes that glimpse is all we get.
I knew a person who felt you could tell alot about a person’s character and pride from their weight. It drove me nuts. I’d shoot back with challenges asking what someone’s shoes said about what kind of leader someone was? He’d scoff at me and say that was crossing into crazy talk…if you wanted to know about leadership you looked at the car not the shoes. What did I know…I was a young girl he had taken a chance on to fill a great opportunity. I thank him. He taught me a great deal–mostly, it was a lesson about the kind of person I didn’t want to be.
I learned about motivation, tactics and results. You can get a majority of any group to do just about anything. Threaten a persons family and the closer the reality of carrying out the threat become, the more motivated a person would be to prevent it. Many boxers stayed down for the count to protect treasure outside of the ring. Others fight to the death. The results gained by rule of fear and intrinsic source are identical to most observing. One rots the heart.
The difference between accomplishments can be seen once the dust settles. Fear serves a purpose and gets results as long as the perceived threat is present, it controls our actions. The self generated motivation can carry you to the end of days and then some. Those inspired catch your spark and they can relate. They keep the company of their choice around them. A purpose propels the spirit to company that fills the heart.
Does the company you keep define who you are? In some cases yes. In other cases, the surroundings do define a person but in a different way. Mother Teresa spent her life surrounded by people many would just as soon cross the street to avoid. She kept them company. They say she had gentle hands. Hands that held on as they passed on and the next one arrived.
Take great care in the company you keep. Measure what it brings and why it matters with things beyond shiny shoes and and the perfect weight.