Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wise Decisions

Today's news provides me with another wise-decisions lesson for my children. This is not a happy story. You can read it here. A 25-year-old woman from Brooklyn has been missing since Wednesday morning, when she left a bar with a registered sex offender.

Now, how many things are wrong with that picture? Hmmm... let's see. I would say you do not need to be in a bar, especially at 4:00 in the morning. Tell me what good can come of that. (Go ahead and yell at me for saying you need not frequent bars. I will not be swayed. I am certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that one can lead an exciting, fulfilling life without spending your evenings in night clubs.) Next, she left the bar with a man I am assuming she did not know. If she did know him, did she know about his criminal record? Just what does one think a man has in mind when he leaves a bar with a woman in the wee hours of the night? He is not interested in hearing about the books she reads or about her dreams of becoming an actress. He does not know a famous producer that he can hook her up with. If he promises any of those things and is sincere, then he can contact her via email or the telephone -- tomorrow -- when it is light outside.

At 25, a woman should know better, but a charming man can be incredibly persuasive. Even strong, intelligent, mature women who have been taught to say no, who know the dangers, can get caught up in the thrill of being at the center of a handsome man's attention. Believe me, silly, giggly, immature teenagers are not the only females whose emotions can get the best of them. A smooth talking man can talk a woman into making very unwise choices, especially if she has alcohol in her system, especially if she is lonely, especially in an environment like a nightclub. (Want to yell at me again? I am not belittling females. I am being honest. We are emotional creatures. Yes, some women are stronger than others. Yes, some can resist or see through a slick proposal, but do you want to take that chance when it comes to your daughter?) I do not mean to say that tragedies like this are the fault of the victim. I am saying that we cannot control the actions of others, so we need to protect ourselves and try to stay out of harm's way.

So how does one avoid pitfalls like this? The answer is easy. You do not go to bars alone. You do not go places with men you do not know. You need to be home during the wee hours of the night! You say there are no other ways for a woman to look for a potential mate? Sure there are -- and believe it or not, nice men go out during daylight hours, too. You say a girl has a right to unwind and have a good time? Sure she does, but there are plenty of safer ways to unwind, make friends, and enjoy yourself.

Am I a prude? You better believe it. Do I want to do everything I can to protect my children and prepare them for adulthood? Absolutely. Do I want to keep them from ever having fun? Of course not! But I want them to learn to find pleasure in the simple things in life, to dream big and pursue their dreams, and to do so wisely. There are enough dangers in day to day living, and we need not go looking for trouble.

My heart breaks for this poor woman and for her loved ones who just want her to come home. I do not know if she is dead or alive, but if she is missing, can it be for a good reason? I doubt it. This is a senseless tragedy. It could have been prevented.

Teach your children to make wise decisions, do all you can to protect them, and pray that they will remember what they have been taught.


1 comment:

Mandy said...

I agree with your comments. . .this could have been avoided. And, I'm Praying for the missing girl. THanks for the recipe you posted in my comments! We'll try it soon!