Thursday, January 26, 2006

Stand for Something!

I often think about Gordon B. Hinckley's emphasis on standing for something. I think it's one of the most important things in life to do. I learned it from my family early on. My parents taught me correct principles, critical thinking skills, and integrity when I was very young. By the time I was old enough to really make my own decisions without my parents being around, I knew how to make most of them.

The easiest example to give concerns the Word of Wisdom. It's part of the doctrine of the church I belong to, and it basically means that:

In addition to emphasizing the benefits of proper eating and physical and spiritual health, God has spoken against the use of:
  • Tobacco.
  • Alcohol.
  • Coffee and tea.
  • Illegal drugs.
(I wanted to write it exactly as the church has written it on their Web site -- not because I don't know it already, but because I like to cite things verbatim, when possible.)

Anyway, my point is that I learned how I wanted to act when I was young, so that when I was in high school and everybody was partying it up, it was pretty easy for me to say, "No, I don't want any drugs." Now, the purpose of this post is not to say that I think you're bad if you do use drugs, it's to say that I learned how to stand up for myself despite loads of peer pressure. People would often say, "Oh, you'll do drugs by the time high school is over." When I didn't, they said, "You'll try them in college." And I didn't. Actually, when I was a senior in high school, a couple of friends told me that they would be disappointed if I ever did use drugs.

So that tells me something very important. It tells me that people want to see other people standing for something. At work, I'm reading an article about the marketing of higher education. The authors (Brenda Foster and Domenica Genovese) cite Marty Neumeier's The Brand Gap, in which he emphasizes the importance of being different:

"An unfocused brand is one that is so broad it doesn't stand for anything. A focused brand, by contrast, knows exactly what it is, why it is different, and why people want it."

I think we can definitely apply this statement to morally or ethically standing for something in our lives. So to you I say:

STAND FOR SOMETHING!

Thing I'm thankful for: the amazing resources I find on the Web everyday!

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