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INFLUENCE

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At times, I wish that the friends of my younger days were wiser. I would then then have invested my money in real estate and choice land. I would have used my money more profitably in the right ventures.

The famous King Solomon said, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”

Let me share a sad but true life story — and it is still pealing like a bell in my conscience. It is about a young and most promising teenager from my school (Victoria Secondary), whom I had the opportunity to introduce to the school’s Christian group. He was first in his standard in school and also first in sports. He was also the brightet Sunday school student in his church! It was indeed a rare feat to be a scholar and sportsman at the same time. He also won the Shell Scholarship to England. But that was 25 years ago. All his friends from school and church waited eagerly to see him succeed in his career.

One day, I was asked by his ster, a teacher, to visit him at her home. When I knocked on his room door, a thin man with long hair and dazed eyes appeared. He looked like a hermit or a mystic! From a handsome boy to an old hippie! The shock was too much for me. In his room were other men in similar condition. They were all on drugs! His future had crashed. I do not know where he is right now. He must have been wrongly influenced by foolish friends!

You must choose the right companions carefully. Avoid all those on drugs. Accept only those who can encourage and help one another to excel. You can take the leadership role and be a strong influence on your friends. By always striving to do good, you avoid doing wrong things.

Wrong companions will bring harm. Visit the jails and you will see nice young men who are there because they had been wrongly influenced. To make good friends, go to the right meeting places. Churches and many social organizations are good meeting grounds. They also allow you opportunities to participate in lawful activities.

Do you know why parents go out of their way to choose the best education institutions for their children? They want them to have the best influence possible!
We are influenced daily
By wrigings, music,
movies, television
And almost anything that enters our eyes, ears and heart,
Some of what are good.

We have the right and power
To choose the best influences
To enjoy living
With the ability to influence others
To be sane and happy.

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