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Our Moral Compass: What Every Parent Needs To Know

Updated on October 6, 2011

Today, when I look around, I see a lot of lost and confused people. It is easy to see when you go into forums and chat rooms. People have never been taught how to treat others. I am pretty sure most these folks also do not know how to treat others in real life as well. It makes me wonder when people stopped teaching their children basic ethics or moral values. It is a parents responsibility and duty to instill in their child a moral compass, because if you don't, they will have nothing to guide them through life. They will be lost, left adrift, mostly friendless (not because others will not like them, but because they will always try to push others away), rebellious... generally in the negative in every way.

When I was growing up, it was my mother and my grandparents that taught me, mostly by their actions, how I should behave and how I should treat others. I rarely got in trouble, but I also remember that I learned early the value of telling on myself. Sometimes at school I would do or say something (I can't remember what now, though my mom tells me it was never anything she would have punished me over in the first place, at the time she let me believe she would have to re-enforce honesty in me), and they would say, "I am going to tell mom on you". Well, I knew that if they told on me, I would be punished. But, if I told on myself, there was a chance I could get out of being punished. Soooo, I would run ahead of my sisters and get to mom first and say, " Mom, will you promise that if I tell you something, you won't punish me"? And she would tell me that she promised, so I told her. Somewhere in me grew the foundations I would need later in life.That honesty is always the best policy.

My grandparents managed a Whiting Bros. gas station in Sanders Az for many years. One very hot day, grandpa called up to the house and had grandma and I make up some sandwiches and a gallon of cold water and told me to bring them down to the store. When I got down there, there was a man there, he was just wearing shoes and shorts. His upper torso was incredibly sunburned, and i could see some lotion had been put on it. I gave the sandwiches and water to the man and he thanked me profusely. After he left I asked grandpa about him. Grandpa said he caught the man standing by the shelf with medicines on it trying to put lotion on his burns. he had no money and was desperate for the relief the lotion would bring him, desperate enough to steal. So grandpa bought the lotion for him. Many years later, after they had retired and moved to Holbrook, Az, at Christmas time, they sent a huge stack of turkey sandwiches and some other stuff and something to drink, to a family that was stranded out at the truck stop. This is just 2 of the to many to count examples of their helping others. Examples that taught me that we are to help others. One day, I saw a woman leaning in the window of a pick-up truck, pleading with a man. the man gunned the truck, taking off down the road. The woman ran at first, then stumbled and fell and rolled a bit. I went over to her. She had a couple of bad scrapes. I could smell she had been drinking, but my heart went out to her because she was crying so hard, and she was hurt, so I took her to the house. Grandma and grandpa could smell the liquor and did not approve of my bringing her into the house. But they did not say anything to me then or later. When I explained to them what happened, they helped me clean her injuries and grandpa gave her a ride to a friends place. I know they did this for me...because they knew I was only trying to help this lady, and they did not want to discourage that desire to help others.

today, I play a game called LOTRO (Lord Of The Rings Online). It is a massive multiplayer online game. I am leader of a kinship, I think I have around 50 or so people in this kinship right now. I have based my kinship on four principles. Loyalty, respect, integrity and friendship. It is interesting what has been happening. I randomly recruit players into my kin. 9 out of 10 players will stay, and they become incredibly loyal...they show the very qualities the kin is based on. that 1 though, will always weed themselves out. we have never had to kick an unpleasant person out of the kin. it is as though people who do not have such qualities cannot deal with being around those that do have them. Last night I was asked by one of my members what was required if one was to become an officer. I told him they had to be able to set an example for the rest of the kin to follow, exemplify the principles the kin was founded on. he is willingly going through a week of training to be an officer of the kin. some may say, "it is just a game" yes, but I see it as more than that. Nothing is really "just". what this person learns in this week of training will reflect in his life, real life.

When you watch t.v. and you see someone that has qualities you greatly admire, don't you consider making those qualities part of your life? I not only consider it, I do it. I have done so since I was young. I think most people do, or at least did as kids. kids look to parents and teachers as role models to show them the proper way to behave, to treat others. That is why parents should not fight in front of their kids...if you must disagree, do it out of sight and hearing. When parents strike each other it tells kids it is not only ok, but acceptable to strike another human being. When parents use filthy language, it tells kids it is acceptable to speak like an un-intelligent idiot in public. Filthy language makes a person look stupid and childish.

Parents, don't set your child in front of games or t.v. Get involved in their lives. If you don't have time for them, why on earth did you bother having them? They need you, be their hero! You are being given this one chance (and it is a once in a lifetime shot) to be truly great, to shine...To say you did something truly awesome in life...you can say with pride that you raised a child to be proud of. There is so much you can teach your child. So many wonderful things to tell them, that will give them a firm footing in the future. Let them know who they are, don't make them wander the world searching for themselves.

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