EDITOR'S DESK: Mentoring can mean all the difference

Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 10:55 AM.

How does someone excel in school, build strong friendships and contribute meaningfully to society by day, and wreak havoc by night?

People can point fingers and hasten to judge, but ultimately, someone with such a double life, wearing masks to shield identity during the act of the crime, always watching behind his or her shoulder, cannot live a happy life and likely would see grades and relationships suffer.

Seventeen is too young to put a life of crime above the experiences we endure to become smarter, stronger and more caring. The trade-off isn’t worth it, but some part of the system has failed if anyone thinks it is.

It’s easy to point fingers and name-call, but at the end of the day, a teen who chooses crime over life should give us pause and cause to always set a good example for younger folks whose paths we cross.

Help is available. Today, guest columnist Bob Allen recalls teaching an etiquette lesson to a young student he was mentoring. (I won’t spoil you; the column, “Social graces, etiquette never hurt anyone” appears here.) He teaches the young man other occasions for manners, and the boy follows suit. For the rest of his life, this boy will know how to respect a woman. By his example, women who encounter him will accept no less from other men.

That’s an example of the system working.

Kids with positive influences taking such interest in their lives typically do not end up in serious trouble.

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