I was listening to the radio the other day and this guy was talking about how a caller had called in and thanked the station for saving his marriage. Here's why. The caller and his wife used to car pool to work every day, and on the way listened to this particular station. The topics discussed on the station stimulated further conversations among the husband and wife at later points in the day, and they communicated all the time.
Then, the wife's job moved, so the couple no longer car pooled together. Instead of still listening to the radio station, the husband switched to another station that had djs on it that were a little more "masculine". The jokes and stories were a bit more raunchy and the caller said he found himself repeating the jokes and stories to his wife like he used to, but realized very quickly that they weren't worth repeating. Instead, the couple started talking less. Eventually the wife mentioned that she thought they were growing apart and the husband realized that it was because they had less to talk about each day. He began listening to the station again and was able to re-gain his relationship with his wife because they could relate to the same stories and have the same conversations.
Now whether this is a true story or not, I personally could believe it is true, because the same thing happens with culture. You relate to people on what you're able to talk to them about. As the DJ of the station also said, what we surround ourselves with begins to be how we then project ourselves onto others. Garbage in, garbage out.
I had a somewhat deep thought about it while finishing up my drive that day. I've got to surround myself with people who possess the attributes that I most want others to see in me. I've got to learn things to talk to people in a certain way, I have to pay attention, observe and pass along information that helps all of us be relatable to one another. It's my responsibility to surround myself with respectful people, watch and listen to respectful shows and music and think positively about those with whom I encounter. In the end, my environment creates my being, and it is totally under my control.