Writer’s Name: Dominique Wilkins
Title: The Company You Keep
For as long as I can remember, people have judged you before you open your mouth. People will judge you by the way you wear your hair and clothes and judge you by what you choose to wear. You have the capability of changing any negative thoughts they may create in their heads of you by immediately doing one thing. The most important thing to do when making eye contact with someone and tearing down barriers is to smile and say hello. You must say hello and not hey or hi. Hello is the proper way to greet a stranger. At that point, you may not have to worry about them clutching their purse or their mace. You have announced yourself as a friendly.
This is not fool proof, depending on the company that you keep, even this smile and greeting may not be enough to expect a chance to be treated fairly. If you are walking with someone, who appears to be a trouble-maker, angry or a hoodlum, you have already been judged by the company you keep. Though you may be respectful and raised so well, no one will stick around or believe you when you attempt to plead your case about how “you didn’t do anything,” when the alarm went off or the shots rang out. Sure, you may know someone is not as they appear, or feel as though deep down they don’t mean any harm, but if you just take the time to get to know them, you may find otherwise. But in society today, often, you don’t have time to open your mouth and make those pleas.
Without you having a chance to verbally defend yourself, you have already been judged and sentenced. Being in the presence of the wrong person, for example can have you incarcerated because the eyewitness did not see the accomplice who was you’re your friend when he robbed the store, but they assume that since you two are friends, it must have been you. Now you must hire legal help. The chance of the judge believing that is slim to none. He has seen a gang of your type before. You are all the same, so why should you be treated any differently? You are abeled guilty by the company you keep.
You have done very well for yourself in the workforce. You studied hard and earned a degree in a career field doing something you love. Now that you have saved all of your nickels and dimes, you have managed to purchase a very nice car that still had the new smell. As soon as you get the chance, you drive over to your friend’s house to show him your new prize. The old lady next door hadn’t seen you around in a while, but can plainly see that you have trimmed down and are looking pretty fit. You’ve obviously been in jail too. You got that car from the same place all of the other neighborhood thugs got their cars from. It’s no secret. People know a drug- dealer when they see one.
In life, people will judge you immediately upon the moment they lay their eyes on you. You must not ruin your chance of being yourself and showing individuality by simply being in the company of a person who is unkempt and has a shiesty appearance. Some people have not had the chance to tell their side. You could be killed before you could speak by a bullet that attacked you, which happened to have been for your company…
Always be in the company of someone who can teach you something or make you look better, not worse. Following this rule will take you far.