Christina M. Currie
Christina M. Currie's Touch of Spice column appears Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig I attended a high school assembly not too long ago and was shocked by the amount of side conversation, obvious indifference and general lack of respect that I saw.
More, I was completely floored that I didn't see any teachers keeping the peace.
The school year is nearly complete. Shouldn't appropriate "assembly" behavior have been drilled into students' heads by now?
Maybe it's that "too cool for school" attitude.
Maybe there are those better versed on teen behavior than I who recognize this behavior as a typical pubescent attempt to breach the boundaries and establish their freedom as individuals so very near adulthood.
Or, maybe it's just bad manners.
My outrage has elicited a variety of reactions.
Some people are just as appalled as I was. Others tell me, "I was one of those kids, and I turned out just fine."
My biggest concern as I drove away was for the students - I pray there are some - who secretly wanted to listen, but didn't because that would have branded them different.
The speaker had a strong message to impart - the choices students make in their oh-so-short high school experience will follow them for a lifetime.
The message was a gift - a very expensive gift - from the community to our students.
And I wonder how many heard it.
I wonder how many took it to heart.
I wonder if there were any teachers who used the lesson as a discussion topic or who heard the speaker themselves so they could reinforce the message daily.
Did any students tell their parents what they learned that day?
Motivational speakers rarely tell us anything we don't already know. They're in and out of our lives like a falling leaf - you may watch it dip and spin for a minute, but then you continue walking.
So what's the point?
The point is, in that few minutes, to take a look at the choices you've made, the place you're at and ask yourself, "Am I on the right track?"
It's really easy to get distracted by the daily minutia of life. To get so entrenched in doing what you're doing that it's easy to forget why you're doing it.
That's the value of a motivational speaker.
It's a time that's dedicated to re-examination. It's a time to get enthusiastic and invigorated.
But, unless you actually make use of that time, it's wasted.
How many people take a moment each day or each week or each month to stop what they're doing, read our internal compasses and make sure we're on the path we designed?
Everyone's read a book or heard a speaker who talks about the importance of setting goals.
Few people take that to heart.
But, nearly every successful person I've ever heard speak says something like this, "This was my goal, and I just kept focusing on that goal."
It's what separates outrageous success from mediocrity.
So I hope, if they didn't learn anything from the motivational speaker, students are hearing from and listening to other sources who are stressing the importance of the choices they make and offering gentle guidance.
And I hope people of all ages are role models and take a few minutes to set goals of their own - and make them happen.
That is motivational.