I was speaking with a friend recently about this subject about which was the greatest contributing factor to who we ultimately become as adults. I told him that I had a biological father and stepfather. My biological father was the DNA, but it was my stepfather that was the influence in my life. I went to say that in my opinion that it was the influencer that molds who we become, not the DNA donor.
I told him who my father was and the kind of man he was and that I never wanted to be like him. Yes, I had his DNA, but I have a far greater example of what a real father was in my stepfather. I had a decision to make in my teens, did I want to be like my father or my stepfather. I chose my stepfather. Additionally, I had the example and influence of my father in-law that also played a role in who I became. I told my friend that it was the better influences (stepfather and father in-law) that I chose to emulate. Acts of my father several years before his death, proved that I had made the right choice in not following his lead.
So, I tell you today with some strong conviction that it is the people you associate with and the ones that you let influence your life that have the far greater impact on who you become. I heard a speaker some years ago say that the person we will all be in five years is largely based on the books we read and the people we associate with. Life is never that simple and pure, but I believe the speaker was correct to a point. Be careful who you let into your heart and who you let influence your life. It could be one of the most profound decisions you will ever make. KT