The reign of Ahaziah was neither long nor illustrious, although it might have been both. He was the son of Joram, and both were kings of Judah, and wicked men. The sacred historian makes his own observations as he passes quickly over these wicked and forgotten kings. In both cases he traces the downfall of the kings to their evil environment. The father of Ahaziah was Jehoram and he was the son of the good king Jehoshaphat. But his marriage with Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel, neutralized the good influences of his parentage. His son, Ahaziah, thus had a bad heredity on both sides. That might have ruined him in itself. But whatever chances he had to save his character from pollution were lost when he kept up a close friendship with the king of Israel, Joram.
Voltaire's agnosticism and skepticism are by some traced to the influence of the Abbe de Chateuneuf, who, although a priest of the Church of Christ, sowed the seeds of deism in his youthful charge and introduced him to dissolute companions. With a different environment in youth he might have been as mighty for faith as he was mighty for unbelief. John Locke, the English philosopher, as a young man had for a friend and counselor Lord Somers, described by Horace Walpole as "one of those divine men who, like a chapel in a palace, remain unprofaned, while all the rest is tyranny, corruption, and folly." Such a friendship left its mark on Locke's character. At Oxford, John Wesley determined to have no companions save those which would help him in the life of faith and righteousness that he was trying to lead.
Put a plant into close quarters, without sunshine and room to grow normally, and you'll get hoodlum plants! The only place hoodlums grow is in dark, dry cramped surroundings. Change these surroundings; put a little love and care and sunshine into their lives, and you get opposite results.—Luther Burbank