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Give Them A Better Option

The most recent column from T.O. Illustratio, found just below this post, offered some challenging thoughts. For my generation, probably some memories of our time as young, impressionable people in the post high school era were brought back into view.

I can certainly remember causes and ideals thrust in front of us. The sources were sometimes considered to be reputable or at least believable to eyes and ears that hadn’t seen or heard as much life experience to allow for careful consideration. We had a tendency to use the “ready, fire, aim approach.”

As the author noted in a far more efficient manner than I might offer, inexperienced youth having actual facts withheld from them often make decisions based on raw emotions. Or maybe a pretty girl convinced us guys to join a movement. We didn’t care all that much about the actual cause. We just liked the company.

Some had a hero worship of fiery orators who made up for a disregard for truth with a convincing line of oppression and “removal of rights.” Nothing gets people off logical thinking better than suggesting that the bad guys are taking away their rights. It isn’t necessary to distinguish which rights or if they even apply.

Mix in some sad stories and slanted history and an uninformed crowd can be led to do things they would never even consider with better options and clearer thinking.

Something Better To Think About

That is the crux of this page. Offering better options will allow them to use that youthful courage and energy in way that will benefit people who really need help. That has been our focus for the past two years with our own student-led group.

Truth is essential in presenting better options. As I write this, we are in another election cycle where truth has been abandoned and anything goes in the drive to get elected or get reelected.

Within our team, we’ve seen the results of offering straight-up-truth and adding in some basic leadership methods. There is no need to blast them with outlandish rhetoric, nor with stories of using violence to confront supposed oppression.

Instead we explain the force behind the two critical pitfalls that at some point affect every person. Pride and fear. Nothing in this world stops good work or causes more turmoil than pride and fear.

Navigating The Pitfalls

Pride has as it’s co-conspirator, ego. The pride of feeling intellectually superior despite never leaving the controlled, safe environments of positions and lecture halls insulates purveyors of false information from the ramifications of their inflammatory blather.

Fear of being exposed as unwilling to actually get into any hard work that benefits the most-marginalized members of society, keeps the same people in their gated community of safety from the ills of that society.

We advise our young leaders to ask questions and then listen intently to the answers. If we offer them another option, one that involves lifting people up and seeing things that aren’t and asking why not, our bright young people will usually take that higher road of responsibility and accountability. They will make positive change a reality. They will set pride and fear and the traveling companion of ego aside because they will have truth in their minds.

And what of the rest of us? Those of us who’ve been through the same things can show them our own scars from mistakes of our youth. We can set aside our own pride and fear.

As the saying goes, “You are most valuable when you add the most value.” Simple truth.

Ralph Willemin

Advisor to the Pewamo Protect Life Team

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