If you grew up in the same house I did, and I’m sure most of you did, you probably heard it like this–”you’re known by the company you keep”.
However, I prefer “when you wallow with the pigs, expect to get dirty!” This happens to be one of my all-time favorite quotes, cowboy or otherwise. The wisdom packed in these 10 words is truly amazing!
Unlike dogs or cats, pigs can’t pant to keep themselves cool so they have to wallow in the mud.
When I really think about it, that seems to be the problem when kids and adults hang around or are influenced by the wrong crowd.
It’s a “coolness” problem. Our society has glamorized poor behavior, so naturally many people are drawn to it like a moth to a flame. It’s the ticket to be COOL!
We tend to blame the media, the movies, music and the like for creating this mess. In reality, it’s not their fault. That’s right, you heard me. IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT! If there were no money made by exploiting poor or bad behavior, the different media wouldn’t promote it.
Most people know right from wrong and good from bad. So where does the fault lie?
With the individual.
It’s our choice on whom we choose emulate or call our friends. This is a choice we should not take lightly. We should pick our role models as well as our friends wisely.
A few years ago, Charles Barkley, former NBA star proclaimed, “I’m not a role model” in a famous Nike commercial. This proclamation was highly controversial at the time. Naturally, Nike was pleased since it generated “shock value” creating a word-of-mouth marketing buzz.
Was he right?
Yes and no.
He was right in the fact, we shouldn’t deify celebrities. We don’t know what their character is like out of the spotlight or what skeletons are in their closets. We’re often crushed when we find out our icon is human and “falls from grace”. Do I need to mention Tiger Woods?
Barkley is also wrong. Many celebrities crave the attention, money and fame their status brings. With that said, they OWE the public who gives them the fame and fortune they desire, a person who is beyond reproach.
Too much to expect, maybe, but that’s the price paid for the fame.
What about friends?
Same is true with them. Actually, more so. The people you choose to be around will impact you whether you believe it or not.
How many times have you said, “I don’t understand it, how did he/she get involved with __________?” (Drugs, alcohol, abuse, affair etc.) “They come from such a good family.”
For whatever reason it’s easier to pull someone down than to lift them up. My niece who teaches physics will have to explain this to me someday.
Conversely, the other is true as well. If you desire to be a better person, find people who have the qualities and values you admire and associate with them.
Develop a value system or code of conduct that YOU WILL LIVE BY. Living the values of the cowboy is a good place to start.
Life is full of choices. We choose every day who we are and the code we live by.
“When you wallow with the pigs, expect to get dirty.”
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