I realised during early years of teaching that one of the best ways to learn is to copy. All creatures have an incredible capacity to copy and it is a trait that is buried deeply into the subconscious, so much so that people are often unaware they are following, learning and being influenced.
The surroundings are also something that will greatly effect the behaviour of an individual. During an evenings wandering I may well be treated to the sight of reflections in dark pools, being close to nature I find this soothing. I also walk areas that are built up, badly laid out and have a tense atmosphere. It is hardly surprising that some people who dwell and are brought up in such an area can become part of the social problems that permeate it or alternatively they will make it their objective to rid themselves of the problems and either leave or seek influence that will grant them a position of apparent power of respect. Some will of course simply keep their head down and try to survive.
The effects of influence and reflection can simple and subtle to begin with (especially if you are constantly in the middle of them). They can however build and become consuming. To question your own motives and influences is not always easy and deep thought and questioning is often not encouraged unless the likely outcome benefits those who control the environment.
For me, I will take my inspiration from nature and be mindful of the spirits of influence and reflection in others. With care, awareness & observation I should be able to learn lessons from others without straying from my own purposes.