I read a story some years ago about a brother and sister called John and Laura. Their father was a local businessman with a very dubious reputation.
He’d been in jail three times for crimes including robbery with violence and fraud.
He was married and divorced four times and had a string of affairs.
When John was sixteen, he made a conscious decision that he was not going to be like his father.
He worked hard at school, went on to college and graduated in engineering.
His career developed as an engineer and he eventually became a manager.
He owned his own house, and was happily married with two children.
He had a good social life and enjoyed playing tennis and sailing.
If you asked John, he would tell you that his life couldn’t be better.
Laura grew up resentful and feeling the world was all against her.
She was a clever girl but ultimately dropped out of school and never finished her education.
She worked in a series of menial jobs, either leaving them or being fired.
There were many boyfriends and no lasting relationships.
She was very unpredictable and moody with a violent temper.
She envied her brother and felt that he was just lucky.
When both of them were asked separately why their lives were as they were, they both gave the same answer.
‘What would you expect with a father like mine?’
There are outside influences that affect all of us. It is how we handle these influences that really matters.
How you live is up to you.