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Ada was a religious woman who stayed in an area where smokers lived. Three apartments facing hers were inhabited by unrepentant smokers. Each of them brought their friends to form a league of smokers. 

One day, she was diagnosed with cancer of the lungs. She couldn't believe that she could contract Cancer disease. Her mind went wild searching for the cause of her illness. She kept feeling this was unfair. How could God allow her to suffer such a terrible disease when those unrepentant smokers were still healthy and strong. 

Her doctor saw her countenance and perceived some mind battle going on and asked her if she stayed in an area where smokers lived. She said, "yes, but I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. The doctor smiled and told her, "You were more prone to getting cancer than the smokers for the reason being that you lived close to them. Though you never lighted a cigarette, you were a secondary smoker"

According to CDC, "Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer".

All these happened through a process called diffusion. This is a process where substances move from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration until there is no difference between the higher concentration and the lower concentration.

Relating this concept to our lives, everybody we associate with has highly concentrated energy in certain areas. Some are concentrated with gossips, malice, backbiting, laziness,  while some are concentrated with good character, respect, good work ethics, good skills, a few but to mention.

Many people find it difficult to draw the line between progressive friendship and negative friendship. A few that know, don't want to hurt the other fellow by leaving. 

If you want to progress, you have to draw a line where you or others won't cross. You must set boundaries because you're shaped by the things you associate with. If you associate with friends who tell lies, you'll become a liar in no distant time. This is what a lot of people fail to understand. 

That is the reason today we can't separate the church from the world. A certain school of thought believe that you win sinners over by mingling with them using Jesus as an example. But they have failed to realize that Jesus only went to sinners who recognised His presence and were ready to repent. For example the Samaritan woman at the well, Mary Magdalene, Matthew the tax collector,  a few but to mention.

You can only mingle with a person who is ready to change, improve and forge ahead. Not with a person who is determined never to adjust.

I want you to see people as energies that are capable of diffusing their concentration to you. If you don't want such energies to diffuse into you, then subtract them, draw your line, set your boundaries.

If you turn fuel into a generator, you'll smell exactly like the fuel you turned. 

You'll always smell like the food you're cooking.

The law of proximity according to Gestalt states that "elements that are close together tend to be perceived as a unified group". Ada became a smoker indirectly when she lived near smokers.

For the sake of your progress, mental, emotional and physical health, certain energies need to be far away from you. That's the reason you have to lose some friends. Everybody has a significant level of influence on whoever is close to them.

Ada later died of lung cancer.

John Ukpanukpong.


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