No. 1075



The American lawyer and political leader, Daniel Webster, was born in 1782, just a few years before the United States Constitution was adopted in 1787 to replace the Articles of Confederation. He would grow up and leave quite a mark on American history, but one thing he said about George Washington, the Father of our Country, made quite an impression on me. He said, “America has furnished to the world the character of Washington, and if our America had done nothing else, that alone would have entitled them to the respect of mankind.”
The reason I share this is because I want to use it as a “benchmark” to talk about a subject that is adversely affecting the lives of millions of our fellow citizens. I am talking about the company we keep, with respect to the influence they have on our character, and some positive steps we can each take to have a more productive and satisfying life. I am sure you have heard the following saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Most of us want to be successful during our lifetime, and to achieve real success there are few things as important as our character, because it defines who we are as a person.
Character is one of those things that takes a long time, even years, to develop and sometimes only a split second to destroy. The saying “birds of a feather flock together” has far greater meaning than most people ever realize. Just as birds have a way of seeking out their own kind, the same is true for human beings. Have you ever seen a bluebird in a flock of buzzards? Of course this is a ridiculous question, but unfortunately human beings are not so careful. By human nature we want to be around those people who make us feel comfortable, have the same values, interests, hobbies, and likes and dislikes that we have.
It is right here that character enters the picture. If we have excellent character -- meaning that we are honest, tell the truth, keep our word, treat others with dignity and respect, work hard to earn our rewards, have good personal hygiene, do not have a “potty” mouth and use foul language, and do not run with the wrong crowd -- we have a much better chance to be a success in life than if we don’t. The Bible says that we all “sin” and fall short of the glory of God, but that is not the issue here. We are talking about character, and this is something every human being can develop if they know the value and long-term benefits, and if they work at it.
Sadly, many people don’t know this, and without really being aware of what they are doing they fall into the wrong crowd. This is something that over the years I have heard many a mother lament, after her child became a drug addict or was sent to prison for a crime they had committed. While I learned a long time ago not to judge others (only God can do that), I just invite you to think about your own life and the company you keep, and evaluate where you are. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all knew the tremendous potential that we have to succeed, to be a credit to God and our parents, and to make a real contribution to the human race?
It has been said that the greatest power we have is the power to choose. When we make good choices we will have good things happen to and for us. This is known as the law of cause and effect, good causes and good actions = good effects. We can never help another person any more than we have helped ourselves, and we can begin by keeping better company.
(Editor’s Note: Bookcase for Every Child – Changing Lives & Futures – ONE AT A TIME. Please visit our website: