We are often taught that we should allow all types of people to mingle with us, often it is quoted that weak people are afraid to mingle with all types of people. Is it so? Then why do people brought up with best values, who are good by nature do bad, sometimes evil things due to “peer pressure”? If we study religious, spiritual texts and sincerely read the words of wisdom left behind we will see that they are quite often contradictory to one another, yet both are called “words of wisdom”, it hints that wisdom differs from person to person, or situation to situation.
I have read a quote by a legendary wise man that “those who are of noble nature cant be corrupted by the company of wicked, the sandal tree never gets poisoned by the poisonous snakes that coil around it.” Then we read quotes like “One fish muddies up the whole pond.” Or “One rotten potato rots every potato in the basket.”
Don’t these contradictory quotes hint that we should choose our companion after assessing our own nature? If we believe that we wont be influenced by our closest friends, even if they are exactly opposite to us, or wont be bothered if people label us as them then we can befriend anyone or everyone.
But if we are easily influenced, or can be influenced with a bit toil, time and we certainly wont be liked to be labelled as one/all of our friends, that is as they are, we should be around only those whose influence is welcome to our life. Because once labelled or influenced the mark is hard to shed, dilute or get rid of.
As for normal people, I believe it will be wise if they choose company with caution, because normal people get influenced by those who are always around them, willingly or nonwillingly, and society often calls the whole group with one name, bunch of rowdies, bunch of goons or group of good kids. They cant help it. Very few can rise above that labelling and treat every one of a group as individual. They quite easily label, but once they do it, that does not goes away easily, sometimes that stays for the rest of their life, even if it is absolutely false.
So, intelligency says be careful about your close friends or people with whom you spend most of your time.