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Looking back, I can now see some “friends” who surrounded me during times of struggle earlier in life did not give good counsel. I wish now I had forgone their company for that of others who were on a more constructive path.

Now don’t get me wrong, they weren’t obvious degenerates as in they weren’t on drugs, into crime, or violating huge moral codes.

And yet their world views were very much shaped by the world, views I can now see lead people down disastrous paths.

The whole progressive movement of the past few decades has very much an on the surface sounds good quality. Increased rights, tolerance, equality, empowerment, personal freedom. What could go wrong?

Well, such thinking has (perhaps inadvertently, perhaps purposely) led to many of the social problems our society struggles with today. Not just between women and men in building healthy relationships, but in many other areas as well. Such as debt being now widely accepted as a “necessary evil” of modern life, to bring up just one example people may not think of connected to this.

A sliding moral compass eventually leads to an “anything goes” and “live and let live” mindset. But ironically rather than leading to increased harmony I can’t think of a time in my life I have seen people more divided, nor such hostility toward those who don’t embrace an “all paths are equally good” mindset.

I am not blaming others, nor am trying to encourage lack of personal responsibility for ones own choices. But looking back I wish I had associated less with certain people who held “of the world” views that in retrospect influenced my own choices and decisions. And many of these friends attended church, professed faith, mind you.

Most of these people I no longer associate closely with although we are still on friendly terms or I hear from them from time to time. But I no longer seek them out as I once did. And my life is honestly better for it, without the drama and angst some of them are constantly in.

Its not really new advice but I think it’s tried and true — surround yourself with people who are living good, successful, admirable lives — people who you aspire to be more like yourself.

Likewise, beware the company of people who are negative, toxic, always complaining or dissatisfied, making destructive choices themselves, etc.  Not to say one shouldn’t love and care for such people but too much of their company can infect your own thinking with the same, I have found.

If I could give my younger self some good life advice it would be this — beware the company and counsel you keep — it shapes your own views and choices more than you may know.

What do you think? Please share in the comments!