I was reflecting recently on how we all give each other permission. Every day my actions and words, present or absent, give permission. I make it ok...
to be cruel, to lie, to love, to laugh, to drink, to mock, to help.
Humans are tribal creatures. We mimic each other. One person's behavior makes it ok for someone else to do the same.
Whether we like it or not, our behavior is greatly driven by those who surround us. This is rarely a conscious thing. We just follow along.
One study found that if you had a friend quit smoking it increased your likelihood of quitting by 36%.
So If you want to change your life, change your friends.
I love this "In A Nutshell" video that argues convincingly that addiction is more about "the cage than the chemicals". Although there is no denying chemical addiction, it's clear that there is more at play. The people we surround ourselves with may be the biggest determining factor in our overall happiness and longevity.
So what's a person to do? Are we all each other's "keeper"? In essence, yes, but I think we also have to balance that with the reality that there is no perfect path. Can we look at our life and see it as an overall positive contribution? Is the example we are setting for others building them up or tearing them down? Are we making it ok for others to forgive, to love, to grow, to be kind?