Surround yourself with good people! You become a piece of them.
For this lesson you will need: Baby powder, a plate and to ask family members to wear dark colored t-shirts. You also need to pre-think a few experiences where people in your life have influenced you for good or ill.
For the Strength of Youth:
"Choose your friends carefully. They will greatly influence how you think and act, and even help determine the person you will become."
Your surroundings greatly influence who you become. Take a look at the photo's below. Ask your family if they think the fox's or the owls are the same breed.
Both the fox's and the owls are the same breed. In different seasons their coats change color to help them blend in with their surroundings. Did you know that studies have been done on us humans that as we associate with our friends we begin to adopt some of the same mannerisms, attitudes and speech patterns?
Talk about examples in your life where you adapt to the people you are around.
Eg. My friend Malea makes a certain hand gesture, sort of the teeter-totter motion of a hang loose sign when referring to her and the person she is talking to; I notice myself doing the same thing. My friend Jen describes things in interesting ways, calling non-food items yummy or describing a personality as salty: I do that too. Anything in your life, or your kids lives, mannerisms, hair and clothing styles, even talking like actors have in a popular movie after watching it.
Pour some baby powder on a plate. Ask family members to press their hands into the baby powder and to place their hands around each other touching the shoulders and backs of the person they are associating with. As you do this talk about how as we associate with people around us we begin to be a piece of who that person is, or how that person "rubbed off" on us. Talk about the importance of associating with others that we want to be a piece of. Talk about examples from your life, how others around you have influenced you to be a certain way.
Eg: My friend Megan is extremely compassionate and my friend Penny is extremely patient. Those traits rub off on me when I am around them and it deepens our relationship because as I recognize it I am grateful to them for lifting me to higher ground through their example. Have everyone pick someone they are close to and talk about a way they have "rubbed off" on them.
Also talk about the negative things that can "rub off" on you by hanging out with those that are not a good influence.
Proverbs 22:24-25-- Make no friendship with an angry man: and with a furious man that shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
Watch this short experiment by Candid Camera:
Again talk about how we are influenced by those around us. Encourage each other to be leaders even when those around us are all doing it.
What will rub off on your friends by hanging out with you? What kind of a person are you being? Do you believe that you can be a leader and lift those around you?
Share something from your life when you have been influenced by a friend.
"As you walk on the road of life be careful of your friends. They can make you or break you. Be generous in helping the unfortunate and those in distress. But bind to you friends of your own kind, friends who will encourage you, stand with you, live as you desire to live; who will enjoy the same kind of entertainment: and who will resist the evil that you determine to resist." - Gordon B. Hinckley
*PS Many of the ideas from this lesson come from a book called: Why?: Powerful Answers and Practical Reasons for Living Lds Standards. It is a fantastic book to reference!
Continue the discussion next week about making real friends here.