We benefit or hinder those in our close proximity. Both the good and the bad can be passed on through absorption in social, genetic and in familial relationships. However some skills transfer better than others. Well duh, but how does this apply?
Does having a friend who is fluent in a language you are not benefit you at all be it a foreign language, a programming language, legal jargon or whatever. Not really, unless it allows you to unlock a door previously shut by your own lack of knowledge. But if a parent has that capacity they may have passed that same capacity onto you as well. Some aptitudes can be passed on from close relatives- but not always- So a parent who has certain skills, knowledge or abilities may be a positive point but not always.
Really I think our closest colleagues have a powerful impact on how well and how much we learn. The influence of our colleagues sets much of our expectations and probably often determines how high and fast each member flies. Since most people are neither the fastest or the slowest but in "the middle" (of the bell curve) most will gauge their expectations to the closest visable realization of their groups definition of "success". Just like in a race most are faster than the slowest runner yet slower than the faster runner. Moral here: Be your best- Aim high, and of course be a fast runner!