Bad company corrupts good morals. That sounds like something your dear old grandma used to say, and she actually got it straight from Scripture. She said it because it’s been proven true time and again. When we surround ourselves with questionable characters they turn us into the same. But is the inverse also true? Does good company enhance good morals?
Not long ago I watched the Sacramento Kings defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves. The difference in the game was the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins, a behemoth center with uncanny skills who simply decimated the Wolves’ front line. Cousins came into the NBA with a skill set that destined him to be one of the league’s best big men, but his temperament and immaturity threatened to undermine his potential. He was known more for temper tantrums and confrontations than post moves and piles of rebounds. But in the game I watched I saw none of that. He competed with fire and demolished the Wolves with nary a stare down. In fact, Cousins has been markedly different this year than in previous seasons. What changed? Good company.
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Those who are excellent not only exemplify it but they also encourage it in those surrounding them, making them want to be better. Remember Michael Jordan’s six championships? He brought the best out of role players and those with moderate talent and even set them up to be heroes. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have certainly thrown to good receivers over the years, but more remarkable is how they have turned marginal players into NFL stalwarts.
It isn’t a great leap to see the implications for our own lives. When we surround ourselves with the highest quality people they make us better.
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