Essay No. 286:
A Man Is Known By The Company He Keeps And The Books He Reads: The maxim reveals a reality that man’s character is revealed what type of people he mixes up with and what type of books he is fascinated to read. A man’s personality is thus greatly conditioned by the two factors, contained in the maxim.
A person heaving learning passion for knowledge, would invariably move in the company of scholars to pick up gems of wisdom and learning. He will seek the company of scholars, who could kindle a spark in him of learning. He would thus prefer to sit in a company of the learned to widen his mental outlook.
If he develops the positive tendency, it may pay him in his later life. He may decide to do research work in the field of his choice and may end up with a degree of specialization in the said field. His efforts may be crowned with success when he comes to earn the degree of Ph.D.
People with a bad temperament may like to move in the company of the amoral. A pickpocket would join the company of people, indulging in thefts, dacoities. He would like to join the company of the socially undesirable element. Likewise people with a religious bent of mind, may like to move in the company of the pious, the Sufi.
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In other words, people are drawn to the company of their choice and learning. Thus on can easily determine the credentials of a person by referring to the company he keeps. It would broadly indicate what type of man he is. One should thus try to mix up in the company of good people, which should leave a healthy impact on one’s personality.
As far the second variable, namely of books, it can help one to determine one’s taste. Some people like to red vulgar books, which can destroy their morals. Some like to read books on fiction, novels, short stories and that amply shows their interest in literature. In short, one should read books on one’s choice.
The type of books one reads, indicate one’s taste in life. Books abounding in sensational material should be avoided, which pollute human mind.