Some years ago the New York “Sunday News” published an interview with veteran television personality Art Linkletter, in which he discussed the tragic death of his daughter, Diane, in a suicide plunge blamed on LSD. Though fads in drugs change over the years, a principle that was highlighted in the interview is still valid. And that relates to the matter of safeguarding children by supervising their association: “Where I made my biggest mistake, I think, was this: I could see that some of Diane’s friends were pretty weird-looking people, but then I told myself that a lot of young people are weird-looking, especially in Hollywood.” Learning from the experience, he declared: “The hardest thing to tell parents is that the key to what’s going to happen to their kid is who the kids are seeing, their friends. That’s the first thing I say now when people call me in a panic and say, ‘I think my kid is on something.’ I say, ‘Well, look at her friends. What kind of people are they? Where do they go? What do they talk about? Do you know?’ Because that has more force and power than anything else.”
It is too bad when parents have to find out in a tragic way the importance of supervising their children’s association. But the key has been available to Bible readers all along: “Bad associations spoil useful habits.”—1 Cor. 15:33.