KFEB #24) To associate with evil men is like sleeping in the midst of knives and swords: although you have not been wounded, you are constantly afraid.

All of my research has, unfortunately once again, come up short regarding where this comes from, thus another KFEB entry remains “Anonymous”.  That doesn’t diminish my interpretation, it just makes the source worldview a little more difficult to pinpoint.

This one is rather simple, almost to the point of being a truism, and reminds me of “More scared than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.”  Although this KFEB entry may seem obvious, the interesting points are when we unpack the statement.

When someone associates with a group, generally there are a few reasons such as shared interests, a common sense of humour, a desire to be a part of something, etc.  So, when we unpack this statement, we have to take that into account and ask the question – is that person associating with that group because they share an interest in the actions it’s taking?
If so, then associating with “evil men” is basically just ‘like’ finding ‘like’; but does it change the intent of this metaphor?  Arguably, no – just when it’ll play out.

Good people generally attract other good people into their lives and, generally, minimize the overtly ‘evil’ or ‘bad’ ones.  It’s that like-attracts-like thing, or whatever energy/universe model you would like to use.  Note that good people occasionally get taken advantage of bad, meaning that these attractions are not mutually exclusive…
When people associate with others and know that what they are doing is bad/wrong/unethical/selfish, and the group’s raison d’être revolves around these types of activities, the “honour among thieves” code really can only go so far – and even the most ardent of the groups supporters must wonder, somewhere in the recesses of their minds, if and when that bed of knives and swords might cut them to the quick.

For those who are part of these groups for reasons like wanting to belong, this feeling is likely to be very close to the surface…

All in all, I believe that this metaphor is useful in explaining the importance of who you associate with, and why.  Strive to attract good people into your life, and keep the negativity out as much as possible…

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