Associations Produce Effects
The Bible principle “Bad associations spoil useful habits” illustrates how people are influenced by the association with the wrong kind of people. On the other hand, good associations are conducive to producing and preserving useful habits. Writing in Christian Life and the Unconscious, Ernest White speaks of “the way in which we affect one another in the ordinary relationships of life.” “Long and close friendship with another person,” he says, “often alters us in ways which are imperceptible to us but which may become evident to others. Friendship has a transforming power which is more than the conscious effects of companionship. This transforming influence steals upon us unawares, and it sometimes comes as a surprising revelation to discover how much we have been influenced in our ways of thinking, or even in our habits and our ways of acting, by long years of close companionship with some man or woman whom we love. Similarly, there can be little doubt that parents and teachers may pass on their buried complexes to the children under their charge. Neither the parent nor the child is conscious of this, but it shows itself in reactions of behaviour.” How important that teachers and parents set right examples in thoughts and actions!