Physical contact between two people is only fun / appropriate / legal / healthy if both people are into it.
If one party objects, demurs or even acts less-than-interested, that’s the ballgame. Stop physical contact immediately. Be kind and respectful at all times.
When you see someone in military uniform, thank them for their service. Hold the door open for them, etc. If they are behind you in line at Starbucks, pay for their coffee. At the very least, look them in the eye and smile - they’ve made a tremendous sacrifice and you should acknowledge that.
You can’t grow in faith (or character or friendships) without learning to be humble. To forgive. To listen without agenda. To allow for the possibility you may be in the wrong.
Ask for help. God will give it.
Don’t be a mooch!
Contribute: To your home, your relationships, your work, your community, your church, your country, the world.
Think about how much you get from all these things. It’s so much more from all these things than you could ever pay back, but that doesn’t mean you don’t try.
Dig in and contribute wherever you can. Never free-load. That’s not who we are. Be brave and contribute your talent, treasure or whatever you can. Duty and compassion both demand it.
Appreciate other cultures when traveling or interacting among people from different cultures. Once on a mission trip, the locals brought coffee and cookies by in the afternoons, but I never took any. I regret that lost opportunity for connection.
Trust me when I tell you that one day you’ll look back and realize you judged people unfairly and you held strong to convictions only to end up changing your mind about in the light of life experience. Leave a little space open for second impressions or the possibility that you could be wrong.
Try to avoid the temptation to reach a conclusion too quickly or cling to it too tightly.” (Paraphrasing James Comey from his book ’A Higher Loyalty,’ which I recommend as a fantastic lesson in leadership - and history, and public service.)
Choosing to take the easy way out will create a life that’s difficult, disappointing and dull. Don’t shy away from hard work. Mind, body, spirit, relationships, community engagement, serving others - all of these things require a ton of effort on your part. But the more you choose to invest your time and energy into what is important to you, the more your life will take shape. Take the easy way out and you’ll see things start to disintegrate. Hard work makes you who you are.
Have the first of many talks about what consent means. Tell them (boys AND girls) that consent needs to be informed, enthusiastic, sober, ongoing and freely given. Stress that, in no uncertain terms, the absence of consent is rape. Discuss the legal, moral and emotional consequences.
Discuss prescription (and OTC) medications. Doctors prescribe or recommend these medicines, they’re not for fun and should be taken seriously.
Discuss how medicines are obtained, never shared, which is dangerous and illegal.
Emphasize the risk of dependence.