“Exercise Caution When Mingling with Others”
One of two things will happen when you socialize with others. You either become like your companions, or you bring them over to your own ways. Just as when a dead coal contacts a live one, either the first will extinguish the last, or the last kindle the first. Danger is great; so be circumspect on entering into personal associations, even and especially light-hearted ones.
Most of us do not posses sufficiently developed steadfastness to steer our companions t our own purpose, so we end up being carried along by the crowd. Our own values and ideals become cloudy and tainted; our resolve is destabilized.
It’s hard to resist when friends or associates start speaking brashly. Caught off guard when our associates implement ignoble subjects, we are swept along by the social momentum. It is the nature of conversation that its multiple meanings, innuendoes, and personal motivations move along at such a fast clip they can instantly shift in wholesome directions, sullying everyone involved. So until wise sentiments are fixed into you as if they were instinct and you have gained some power of self-defense, choose your associations with care and monitor the thrust of the conversations in which you find yourself.