“When you hang out with winners, you become a winner, when you hang out with melons, you become a grapefruit” -Rocky

My son had a friend who got Expelled from his private high school this week. Apparently, there were some inappropriate texts between his buddy and a girl and both she and her parents were quite offended. My son tried arguing with us that the school was dumb for kicking this kid out after all the texts he sent were just a joke.

Let’s just say we didn’t exactly line up behind our 16-year-old son’s perspective.

As any caring parent would do though, we seized the opportunity to have a teachable moment with our impressionable teenager “You become who you hang out with son” was our basic feedback to him. “As “funny” as this kid may seem to you now, is he really the kind of person that’s going help make you a better person by his influence?” we asked/stated

If only our kids would take our word for things and do as we say not as we did.

After 26 years of running a business, I see the same sad scenarios with customers and teammates playing out again and again. “Won’t these people ever learn” I frustratingly wonder?! As every parent of a teenager or any seasoned Business Owner has learned the hard way, the answer is…

some will, some won’t, and there’s not a damn thing you can do to help people you see headed down the wrong path to turn around if they aren’t willing to hear, for whatever reason, what it is you’re saying!!!

I wish I could tell you it gets easier the older I get to let people self-destruct. In reality, I actually believe it gets worse! I think it gets more frustrating because I’ve seen it so many times before it becomes even more aggravating wondering why anyone would choose a self-destructive path?!

…Or cut off their nose to spite their face

I guess you can boil it down to Rocky logic, some people are just melons or…is grapefruits? I don’t know but what I do know is I want my kids, my teammates, our customers and myself personally to be surrounded by people who are going to pull us up to a higher plain, not down to their level.

Our son told us today that the school agreed to let the boy return to school. They choose to only suspend him provided he agreed to get regular professional counseling to help him better cope with his issues. We were relieved and happy to hear that. As we all know the road for a kid who gets expelled from high school, is far harder than the path for one who graduates.

Here’s to hoping our son gains a life lesson, and everyone watching realizes that winners pull each other up, while melons just produce more grapefruit.