Lance Scranton: Teach your children well | CraigDailyPress.com

Lance Scranton: Teach your children well

Lance Scranton

How often do you make a decision based on emotions? "Follow your heart," the saying goes, and we soon find ourselves in compromising situations, of our own choosing, blaming others, and deflecting responsibility.

Propagating virtuous decision-making is a critical responsibility we have as educators, community leaders and parents; conversely, the propagandist uses obfuscation to make us think emotions should steer each and every decision we make. But, all of us must be exposed to misguided sensibilities and taught that emotion, and the "gut" desires must be mitigated by values.

Integrity will repel the urge to return a slanderous remark with one more scurrilous and damaging. Honor will refuse to make another look bad in front of others. Character exposes the lie told to make things more expedient. Some mock such "traditional" thinking and hold fast to the more modern virtues: returning a hateful remark for another is acceptable in the name of "justice;" making another person look bad is simply being "transparent" and telling a lie is "progress" because, after all, the ends justify the means.

Challenging those who are self-centered, demanding integrity, honor and character propagate values and virtues that are timeless (for good reason) because the harmful effects of hyper-individualism, excessive personal freedom, and unwarranted personal privilege are all too common.

Values and virtues, spoken or unspoken, are propagated daily by our actions and words… it is our only defense against the propagandist — who would love nothing better than to tell us what we should think.

Everyday we are exposed to propaganda calculated to elicit an emotional decision. A popular song from the ’70s put it this way: "… You must have a code that you can live by… so teach your children well."

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Propagation or propaganda — it's your choice — for now.