The Ideas in Your Head Will Rule Your World
By Mac Bledsoe
It does not matter where the ideas come from, and it doesn't matter
whether they are right or wrong, once an idea is in your head, it will
rule your world.
Only a few months ago I gave a keynote address to 3,000 people at a
regional parenting conference. In the talk I had mentioned the
difficulties parents face with Drug abuse by their children. During the
question and answer period following my talk a clergyman stood up in
front of and offered, "I think we need to decriminalize drugs because
drug use is a victimless crime." He was offering this as a counter point
to my comments in my address about how damaging drugs are to American
My first reaction to this man's comment was sheer astonishment. I
could not believe that Clergyman was willing to stand in front of all of
these people and say that. Then I realized that he had an idea that was
ruling his world. Not only did I disagree with him, but I also have a
very different idea that rules my world.
I replied, "I disagree! I do not believe that drug use is a
victimless crime! In my 29 years of teaching 46 kids who sat in my
classroom are now dead."
And then continuing to address the fellow, I said, "Now, sir, please
listen carefully to how those 46 young people died. Three of them died
of causes that might not have been preventable. One boy died of a
disease; one girl died when an airbag in a car exploded unexpectedly in
her face during a slow moving accident in a shopping mall parking lot;
and the third died in a private airplane crash while flying with his
But, sir, hold onto your seat and ask yourself if you still can
consider drug use as a victimless crime when I tell you that the other
43 kids were either stoned, high, or drunk at the time that they died!
Those kids were all victims of drug use! And that figure is just the tip
of the iceberg. Every member of those kids' families, their friends,
their teachers, their coaches, their pastors, and the other people who
loved them were hurt by their drug use and were all victims, too!"
That clergyman had an idea that was ruling his world: He was willing
to stake his personal reputation in front of 3,000 people on the idea
that illicit drug use is victimless!
That idea was ruling his world! It did not matter to him what I had
just said. The idea in his head was so powerful that he did not even
listen to what I had said, rather, choosing to form a smart retort. I
don't know where his idea came from and I am pretty sure his idea is
wrong, but nonetheless it is ruling his world.
Ideas are powerful. Even wrong ideas are powerful. In the hands of an
overzealous person a wrong idea can overpower a right idea.
As parents it is our job to help children to load their heads with
strong ideas to use in making all of those decisions they are going to
make. We must find ways to communicate those ideas in a manner that our
children can use them.
One of the keys in communicating ideas to children lies in listening
carefully to them. Lectures seldom pass on ideas to others. Two way
communication is the best way to share ideas with kids. Allow children
to challenge your ideas without becoming argumentative.
Good ideas are the vaccination against bad decisions. Vaccinate your
children with your values and ethical thoughts.