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Thứ Tư, 14 tháng 1, 2015

A man is known by the company he keeps.

This essay is written by Tran, van Dien in 1960


We often judge a man's value by his acquaintance and friends. The instinct of imitation of men, their self-love and the force of examples contribute to making a man similar to those he frequents. There a proverb runs:"A man is known by the company he keeps".

Body of the essay:

I.- Explanation:
1.-People naturally seek the company of those who have the same temperament, tastes and interests. Examples are abundant in life for the proof of these facts. A bad student looks for a lazy friend. Good students, on the contrary, play together. Farmers like to converse with farmers; poets prefer the companionship of poets. Fools do not like the society of wise men, and wise men avoid the company of fools. Another proverb has also stated:"Birds of feather flock together".
2.-Friendship, therefore, plays a great influence upon our behaviour. Our self-love leads us to compete with our friends. The instinct of imitation also invites us to do as others around us do.
3.-It is why the choice of good company is very importance. If the person we frequent is good and honest, we have a chance to get better. If, on the contrary, our friends are vicious persons, we soon get rotten by imitating their speeches, gestures and actions.


The above proverb, however cannot be accepted without any reserves. There are people of character whose personality is so steadily built that their conduct do not change as easily as ordinary men's. They are similar to a lotus flower which grows in dirty mud but still keeps its own fragrance. Abraham Lincoln is a typical example. When he was young, he used to frequent bad people, wrestle boy, however finally he became not only a good man, but also an outstanding figure in the history of America.


The above proverb is still a general rule by which we can judge others. Let us be careful about the choice of friends. Let us frequent good people and avoid bad friends. There is a Vietnamese proverb expressing the same truth:"Close to the ink, you will be blackened; near the lamp, you will be lit up!"