Your Friends & Associates
Joseph C. Ibekwe
There is a general saying, “Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are”. Individuals are usually defined by the friends they keep and the associations they mingle with. This statement is universally accepted to hold true.
That’s the reason responsible parents warn their growing children to be wary of the friends they keep and groups they join, in school or in the community. It’s unfortunate to note that some adults seem to give impression that this statement does not apply to them. Show me the people you mingle with, you associate with, who you support their political views and aspirations, and I will tell the kind of person you are. If I tell the kind of person I perceive you are by reason of the associations I know you keep, will I be accused of mi- reading you?
Those who read the Bible know that it is written ” evil communication corrupts good manners”. The word “communication” means association. If I am known to be corrupt and you associate closely with me and find nothing wrong with my being corrupt, it can easily be concluded that you too are corrupt! True or false?
As in every day life, so it is in the political sphere. If you support a political candidate, just because he or she from your political party, and it is known in public domain that that fellow is corrupt, then you are also corrupt. You cannot explain this away by saying it’s about preference or being a loyal party member. Of course, there are loyal corrupt party members or loyalist to corrupt individuals , and you happen to be one of them.
By the way, when the word corruption is mentioned in our environment, people are fixated on financial corruption. But they fail to recognize the more insidious forms of corruption including political corruption; manifest in nepotism and injustice; moral corruption, and outright support for those known to have corrupted the system.
You are who you associate closely with. You imbibe the spirit, the values, the views and nuances of the person or groups you closely associate with. This is the way of nature. If you belong to any group or associate closely with anyone whose values you don’t approve of or don’t agree with, the right thing to do to dissociate. As you maintain close contacts and affinity with such groups or person’s, and you are always disposed to defend them, then you’re one with them. It’s as simple as that.
In our environment, why is that individuals want to separate themselves from their political views? Why is that individuals want to separate who they are and what they stand for, from the political parties or the kind of candidates they support for public office? It doesn’t sync. It’s an aberration. And it’s deceptive. It amounts to double dealing and double standards; and it’s dangerous to relate closely with double dealers, because you can tell when they will deal with you.
Tell me who you defend, who you associate, who you support, and I will tell who you are. It’s not enough to day, I am this or that. I tell who you are by who you associate with and who defend in the public space.
As the saying goes, “Ornithological specimen of identical plumage invariably conglomerate to the nearest proximity”, which simply means: “Birds of the same feather flock together”.
If you associate with loins, you will learn to roar. Your friends and close associates define who you are, unless you are a master pretender or double dealer.
Be careful of those closely associate with or the politicians you support for public office. You identify with your kind or at least with those that reflect your kind. Your friends define you.