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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Peer Pressure

Do you remember the D.A.R.E program?  I do, although vaguely.

In high school, the temptation to drink or smoke or do drugs was non-existent. I surrounded myself with peers that were uplifting and righteous and I truly believed the principles in the Word of Wisdom. To be honest, I wasn't even offered a drink of alcohol or a cigarette until I traveled to France when I was a senior in high school. And it was easy to say no.

But recently as I've thought about peer presure, I have realized that peer pressure can be an influence for good and that often it isn't something as lucid as breaking the word of wisdom.

Peer pressure has been a positive influence in my life recently through my sweetheart Ryan. Through his encouragement, I have been able to increase my personal abilities in running and have been able to resist the urge to splurge on sweets.

On the flip side, I have come to a realization lately that the advesary would never seek to tempt me with beer or cigarettes. It would be more subtle, gentle even. Recently I had a personal decision to make about the media that I would let enter my home. It was a simple decision, yet one for which I was unprepared, and one with which I vacilated. I felt I made the right decision, but I also felt the pang of guilt for vacilating and compromising my standards to even the remotest degree.

What hurt the most was the realization that my children will face a world much more illicit and dangerous than the one I faced. They may be tempted to drink, to smoke, to compromise their values in every possible way. It became clear to me that in order to be the best posible example, I, along with the Savior, have to be the teacher and example.

After that experience a friend made a comment in passing that, in retrospect, has given me new perspective. She said that while she would never subject her 2-year-old to offensive media, she realized that even watching such thematic material after he has gone to sleep still affects the spirit of their home.

I appreciated this comment. It gave me the chance to reaffirm one of the reasons that I carry and live my standards. And while the world will argue that standards should be bent, mis-shapen, or even broken, I am grateful that I believe in and live a set of standards that will help me be a better mother, friend, wife, daughter, sister, and overall better person.

So, peer pressure? Not always a bad thing. But, definiltey something to be prepared for even after high school and college.


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