Tell me what company thou keepest and I’ll tell thee what thou art.

What did Miguel de Cervantes mean by:

Tell me what company thou keepest and I’ll tell thee what thou art.


This quote suggests that the character and morality of an individual can be discerned from the company they keep. Essentially, it means that you are likely to behave and think similarly to the people you spend most of your time with. This idea stems from the belief that we are heavily influenced by our surroundings, particularly the people we interact with.

In a deeper sense, it also implies that we tend to attract and be attracted to people who share our values and outlooks. Thus, our choice of company can reflect our inner selves, our beliefs, and our attitudes. This concept is often encapsulated in the modern phrase, "Birds of a feather flock together."

Applying this to today’s world, it becomes crucial to choose our company wisely. In the age of social media and networking, we are constantly in touch with a diverse range of people. The people we choose to interact with frequently, share ideas with, and consider as our circle can significantly influence our thoughts, actions, and overall personal development.

In terms of personal development, this concept underlines the importance of surrounding oneself with positive influences. If we want to grow and develop in a certain way, we should try to spend time with people who embody the traits we aspire to. For instance, if one aims to be more compassionate, it would be beneficial to be around people who exhibit compassion.

However, it’s also important to remember that while our company can influence us, we have the agency to choose who we want to be and what influences we allow to shape us. Therefore, while this quote provides insightful guidance, it should be balanced with personal discernment and self-awareness.

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