Hay Rake

Knowing our surroundings – Growing Our Generation blog

by Doug Toops for his issue of Growing Our Generation

We’ve all heard the term “You are what you eat.” As much as I believe this to have some truth, I believe there is so much more to who we are than just our diet. As we look back at our childhoods, our biggest influences were our parents, siblings, cousins or neighborhood friends. As we get older, the way we start to think and act changes, and that of course has a lot to do with how our brains develop, but who we surround ourselves with has an incredible impact on us.

I can’t help to think about my best friends in high school and then my new best friends in college and post college. How did I manage to surround myself with those people? Were we like minded? Laugh at the same jokes? Drive the same brand of truck? I don’t think any of those carried a big enough role to classify those people as my “best friends.” What drew me to them was their character.

In a recent conversation with a very bright young woman, we discussed how I am attracted to people who possess a particular character trait that I wish I had. Every single one of my closest friends has an attribute that makes them better than me. One of the biggest reasons I enjoy being a part of Farm Bureau is that I am surrounded by some of the most compassionate and generous people that have walked the earth.

The moral of the story is you are who surround yourself with. Truth be told, greatness comes from those who never stop trying to better themselves. Always know your surroundings and a little bit of change can make a phenomenal difference in the quality of your life and the lives of the people around you.


This blog is part of Toops’s turn as featured editor of the Growing Our Generation eletter. Read his full e-newsletter or browse the archive of past issues.


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