“Laws control the lesser man… Right conduct controls the greater one.” Mark Twain

Parents, teachers and other adult leaders find ourselves needing to make endless distinctions between right and wrong for the children we influence. Dissension within government, the media and public opinion is at an alarming level, making these discussions difficult if not argumentative.

Here’s an example: Today we discovered that the law prohibiting the carrying of switchblade knives has been overturned. Some folks have never pondered the need or desire to carry such a knife. But now that it’s legal, does it mean that we should have one or simply that we can?

Mr. Twain breaks it down nicely. Do what’s right. Something tells me that those who wanted to carry switchblades before today were doing so. Were they doing the wrong thing? Only so far as it was against the law.

As a society, we need to do what is necessary to protect ourselves and our families. From my standpoint, the knife issue is irrelevant except with respect to doing the right thing. Always protect your family. But keep in mind that our children are observing. If we want them to understand making the right decisions, operate within the guidelines of the law.

Most of us will never have the occasion or motivation to interpret laws. If we’re doing the right thing with our children, they should never get to wondering if something is appropriate. Our kids will be greater for knowing the difference. Shalom.


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