Brotherly Love?

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by Antonio Thornton on Tuesday, December 11, 2007

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It’s amazing how your environment can impact your behavior.

I’m just left Philly, doing a business mastermind session and I was told on a couple of occasions that, I was acting “uncharacteristically aggressive”.

One person even went as far as saying, “If I didn’t know any better, I wouldn’t know you weren’t from Philly.

Hmm…uncharacteristically aggressive… in other words: “mean”.

That was funny to me…because a few days prior, I was caught saying, “The people here are really mean…even wen they’re being nice to each other, they’re being mean.”

I said this as a result of an incident I had in Philly:

I was in a car where the driver was letting a person cross the street…the driver told the guy to cross, then the guy told the driver to go…eventually, they got into a shouting match about who should pass first. Geez

The very same day, I was in a funeral procession and the person in the car with me nearly got into a fist fight with another driver because they almost cut us off (reminder: this was during a funeral)

Of course “people in Philly” aren’t mean… that was just my limited perception at the time.

However, it made me think about a conversation I had a few weeks ago about how people from the North East (New York, Jersey, Philly, etc) seem to be more “aggressive” that people in the South.

Disclaimer: If you’re from the NE, please don’t get mad at me…because the conversation was actually started by a guy from NY who said, “Why are people in Georgia so nice? It’s really weird, and freaking me out.” Go figure, “nice” freaks someone out.

So, in the conversation we were talking about what factors impact the makeup of a city, a community and ultimately the individual. We talked about the weather, the politics, the income per capita, etc. Even one woman talked about the energy of the Earth in those areas.

Whatever the reason, the one common theme is that people allow themselves to be influenced. (going back to my favorite word – choice).

They’re choosing to be influenced.

This is one of the reasons why most smokers’ children are smokers; abusers’ children are abusers, etc.

No one HAS to act like their parents, no one HAS to behave like their neighbors… it’s a choice.

Though sometimes we have to adjust ourselves to ‘fit into’ situations…meaning: you probably don’t talk to your friends like you talk to your mother …and vice-versa… we can still choose to be who we are.

After recognizing how ‘aggressive’ I was being, I chose not to continue acting that way because it wasn’t serving me.

Practical Application

Take some time to identify what areas you’re allowing your environment to influence you.

Ask yourself why you’re doing it. Is this how you “really” want to act? Is this getting you closer to your life goals?

CHOOSE to be YOU…not your parents or neighbors

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