I don't think people realize how much of an influence they are on those around them.... or how much they are the ones being influenced BY others.
When you are around someone for a certain amount of time there are things that rub off on you. It can be words or phrases, mannerisms, or even just their attitude.
I'm starting to realize that I owe a good portions of my attitude to who I was married to for ten years. When I start to wonder why I have gone through so many troubles instead of thanking God for helping me through them, I feel that I'm having those thoughts because he was rubbing off on me. Not to gripe or complain, but I was married to someone that was very selfish, in more than just the obvious ways.
It really scared me when I realized how selfish my thought process had gotten. It's like a trap you don't even know you're falling into until you're already in it. I'm working on my attitude, but I can still tell when the selfishness starts to creep back in.
I only wish it didn't effect me now, but it does unfortunately. If effects my boys. It breaks my heart to see the disspointment on my son's face when he doesn't feel the love and encouragement from his Dad. All he wants is for his Dad for come to his baseball practices and encourage him and practice with him like the other Dads, but all his Dad does is act like it's a burden for him to be there. I'm thankful my son lets me do these things with him. I'm thankful I can see past my life to show him how much I love him, and encourage him in whatever he does.
I guess the thing that scares me the most is the thought of one, or both, of my boys taking on his attitude as they get older. I'm afraid it's inevitable to an extent from just being around him, I just hope I can influence them some in the other direction as well. I pray that they will see the difference.