Never live your life in such a way that someone else can use YOU as an excuse to go against what they know is right.
I apologize that I don't have the person who said this quote-if it even is one. This was something that was said in a group setting between a few women (including me) who were just chatting. She couldn't remember where she had heard it said before, and I've spent all day trying to find it online and am not coming up with anything, but it made a big impression on me.
Now this is not to say that I don't believe in accountability, because I absolutely do! I think that we are fully ACCOUNTABLE for our own actions-whatever they may be- because as full functioning (most of the time :) ), intelligent (most of the time), adults we choose what we will and will not participate in and can not blame our life choices on anybody but ourselves.
But I also believe in the power of influence and choosing friends wisely! After I heard this "saying" I was racking my brain, hoping that I had never done anything that someone else looked at and then used me as excuse to go against something they believed in just because they maybe saw me as a moral person and figured, "well if she can do it, I can do it and it won't be so bad."
I think it also does remind me that I AM my own person! That even if someone I admire and respect does something I don't agree with, I shouldn't adjust my values and use them as an excuse to change my behavior. Isn't it funny that even as adults sometimes it can be hard to not care what other people think?! Maybe that's just me!