Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pilot Knob

Tomorrow morning I'll make the journey eastward across the southern part of Missouri to the small town of Pilot Knob. Pilot Knob was the site of a little known Civil War battle. I've toured the area of Fort Davidson before and will be staying across the highway at the Fort Davidson Motel.

I'm looking forward to being at the Arcadia Valley High School in the afternoon to talk to the students about making good choices. Actually, I understand that the Middle School will be there as well. This can be be a challenge because of the age difference. In the past, I've used it to my advantage by pointing out the differences in freedoms that the high schoolers have over the younger students. As we grow older and demonstrate responsibility with the choices that we are allowed to make, we get more freedom and have to make more choices.

An example might be something as simple as bedtime. When we are starting out in school, parents usually set and enforce a reasonable bedtime. At that point, it is the parents that have the knowledge to best determine how much sleep their child needs to do well in school. By the time they are in high school, most of the students probably have the freedom to determine their own bedtime. They understand the consequences of staying up late and the effect that it will have on their school work.

They'll be making choices about who they will be friends with (and they'll be judged by the actions of their friends).
They'll make choices about their health: Do I want to smoke? Do I want to drink? What about trying some drugs?
They'll decide about a job and about how they will spend their money.
They'll challenge the law by the way they drive--and may pay higher rates of insurance because of it.
They'll make choices about sex. Some of these consequence can change your life--or take your life!

Even as adults with careers and families, they'll have to make choices every day just like you and I do.

I believe that they can make those hard choices now--when there is no peer pressure, when they are removed from the excitement of the moment, when they have the time to consider the consequences. A decision about smoking, drinking, or doing drugs doesn't have to be made when everyone around you is smoking , drinking or doing drugs. If you've made the decision beforehand, then all you have to do is tell them of your decision. Consequences are rarely given proper consideration when the moment is upon us.

If you've decided not to be sexually active now, making that clear before it becomes an issue is easier. If you know that you'll be in a position where your choices may be challenged, you can choose to avoid those situations and avoid those "friends."

We'll have some fun with magic. They may learn a little about magic. And they'll get to make some choices. Unlike real life, I'll have some control over the choices they make. Trust me, I'll make sure that they make the right choices. Unfortunately, I won't be there to help them with the important issues of life. It's not like they'll be on their own, they'll have plenty of help. But choosing good counsel, well that's another choice...isn't it?


"Do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good character."
The Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth

1 comment:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That isn't a Civil War battle I'm familiar with.