The Isle of Me
“I’m my own man.” A worthy goal but you can’t get there on your own. You are not an island and unless stranded on an island, you are surrounded by a plethora of influences, good and bad. Seek the good. Seek the wise. The rest will find you.
Don’t invite bad people into your life. Sounds simple but bad people don’t advertise they are bad and they cloak themselves in things that look good like money, fame or power. Don’t excuse bad people because they have money or fame or power. The price they demand will be much higher than you anticipated and probably more than you want to pay; financially, physically, socially and emotionally.
Surround yourself with good people. Good people have good values and their good character is revealed when they live out those values in adverse conditions. Good people challenge you to be better. Good people will forgive you, comfort you and advise you but they will not make excuses for you.
Of course, you are influenced by much more than people. Go to church, perform community service, develop a hobby, exercise outdoors, read enriching material, listen to enriching music and watch enriching material. Of course you will eat bad food, watch bad tv and listen to music that is exciting, risqué or even vulgar. Enjoy it, but also make time to do some pious reading, to watch a sunset and listen to a Beethoven symphony, a Gershwin melody or a Miles joint. Knowledge and balance in all areas will add to your appreciation and aid your recognition and temperance of bad influence.