No matter where we go or who we deal with, it leaves some sort of influence on us. Sometimes the influence is long standing and at other times, it was just during that moment. Examples are things like mob mentalities or rallies. Just because they are influenced for the moment, doesn't always mean the influence will be longlasting. Likewise, longstanding influences can actually be a turn off. Case in point. Derek Black, son of Don Black, an active Klan member and runs Stormfront, a racist website catering to that type of ilk. Derek, in an article in the Huffington Post, renounces his racist past. Derek Black stated, "Advocating for white nationalism means that we are opposed to minority attempts to elevate themselves to a position equal to our own (Potok, M. 7/17/13).

Derek Black is an example of how we should not use influences as excuses to do something you know is wrong. Even growing up under certain influences, doesn't constitute reason for action. The nature vs nurture aspect, is very real. Clearly we are influenced by what we see. Many influences are constantly reinforced by friends, family or acquaintances, and you simply need to see which ones work to your advantage.

Remember that blaming others only accentuates your personal guilt, so any influences that that cast blame upon you, need to be re-evaluated by you. This I learned. I also had to learn to accept responsibility but never blame. There is enough of that to equally go around.

Lastly, do not allow influences to be your excuse for action. Take responsibility. Your goal is


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