“Character not circumstance makes the person.” -Booker T. Washington
Where I grew up there were a lot of people who fell victim to circumstance. Let me re-phrase that, where anyone grew up or are growing up now fall victim to their circumstance. Your environment does not make you the person you are today. You make you the person. At a certain age, nobody can get you in trouble anymore, meaning no peer pressure can make you do anything you do not want to do. I do not want to say that your environment has nothing to do with your character, it certainly helps mold you as a person but that is solely based on your experiences. Abraham Lincoln says “Reputation is the shadow. Character is the tree.” Having good character is who you are when no one is looking. It is doing the right things just because they are the right things to do.
The point is, don’t fall victim to your circumstances. Take your life back, make great choices that will benefit you and your family, strive for greatness. Do not set out to impress another person, the only competition you have is the person you see in the mirror every day. One aspect of a good character is the people you surround yourself with. Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher, challenge you, help you grow as a person. Have you ever heard the expression, “you are who you hang out with.” While this is not entirely true it is definitely truer than not. People say this because you generally are influenced by the crowd you are around. Ever wonder why millionaires hang out with other millionaires? It’s not because they have money, it’s that they share similar interest and challenge each other daily to do better. This is the goal. Put yourself in a position of success, more importantly, have the good character to know where the starting line is for that position of success. Get better every day.