Are there young adults in your life who have recently left home and entered college or the career field? Or, high schoolers about to graduate into independent life? Here’s a special message for them you’ll want to share!
Once you leave your parents’ home to travel, study, or work, you’ll experience a newfound freedom and sense of independence. And, you’ll no doubt encounter potentially risky situations that require quick decisions in the moment. Unfortunately there will be no time to call mom and dad, phone a friend, or ask the audience. How will you handle it?
These scenarios often involve alcohol, drugs, sex, and cheating, and especially arise when you feel pressure to fit in with others. They can compromise your value system and derail your plans, dreams, and even your physical, emotional, and spiritual health if you’re not careful. During these situations, it’s wise to pause and ask how your conscience will feel tomorrow if you answer “yes” or “no.” Will you feel guilt or shame, or be proud of your actions? Let that answer guide your decision.
It’s also helpful to quickly ask yourself these following questions:
-What are the potential consequences to your well being and reputation?
– What answer aligns with your value system?
– How will your decision impact the people you love and care about?
Succumbing to high-risk behavior and situations leads down a path from which it’s very difficult to recover. Your best bet is to avoid these situations altogether before they occur and test you (if not, at least decide in advance how you will react if and when your values are challenged). I’ve heard far too many stories of young people who didn’t heed this advice and whose college careers ended prematurely due to unwise decisions. Often, they lose years of momentum and wander aimlessly in the aftermath. But, you have a purpose and a destiny that is worth guarding and respecting at all times. By following your conscience and your value system, you’ll be well positioned to handle life’s risky situations.
Have you ever been in a situation like this? Did you have the courage to go with your values over the pressure you received from others? If not, how can you better prepare yourself the next time? After all, life is about learning and recovering from our mistakes, isn’t it?