No. 495



In a documented study, the ABC television affiliate, KATV in Little
Rock, Arkansas, recently reported that 50 percent of America¹s college
students had admitted to ³binge drinking² at least once in the past 30 days.
This study also revealed one fourth of the female binge drinkers were
victims of date rape or an attempted date rape. It was also discovered a
female student who had consumed at least seven beers was 10 times more
likely to be date raped than someone who had not been drinking.
When I heard this report I said to myself, ³What¹s going on here?² Then
I asked myself this question: ³Is this the kind of society that I want my
children and grandchildren to grow up in?² Well, I believe you know the
answer to that question and I also believe the answer would be the same for
millions and millions of other Americans.
This is a great nation. God has blessed our nation in a mighty way over
the years and I¹m sure He would not be pleased with what is happening in our
country today. Make no mistake, date rape is a very serious offense and if a
man is convicted of this crime, it carries a lengthy prison sentence. These
staggering numbers also make it clear to me that far too many college-age
young people did not have the right kind of character and moral training
when they were growing up. If you share my personal convictions that we must
get back to practicing and teaching the kind of values that will provide a
bright future for all of our people in the months and years to come, I have
some ideas to share that I believe will really be of interest.
First, let¹s understand the negative influence television has had on our
culture, on parents as well as their children. By the time a young person
enters college, they have seen thousands and thousands of beer commercials
that glamorize an irresponsible lifestyle. I don¹t know about you, but I
detest the unbridled number of ³male enhancement² commercials that flood
almost every channel on the set and it¹s getting worse. I also get them on
my computer. Just think of what this is doing to the mind set and culture of
our nation¹s young people. What¹s even more deplorable is the number of
major companies who used to never use anything off color or suggestive to
advertise their products but are now doing it on a regular basis.
I have a friend who has taught fourth grade here in our community for
more than 25 years. Recently she conducted a survey of her 21 students to
see how many television sets they each had in their home. One student had
two, most had three and some had as many as five to seven. As she said,
³These kids are spending hours playing video games, surfing the Internet and
watching trashy television programs.² As a nation, we must take even more
seriously the negative influence the television is having on our culture.
While it may appear to be too simple, I may have a part of the solution.
We must give our children an alternative to the television set, something
they enjoy more. This past Christmas I did something I have never done
before in my life. There are 19 people in my immediate family and I gave
each one a book as a Christmas gift. I¹ve already gotten some great
feedback. I got a report that one daughter and her husband, who have two
beautiful daughters, had read their books and had made a decision to not
turn on a television set during the entire month of February. I¹m told the
girls are now reading books in their rooms and are not interested in
watching television. They are also playing games and doing things around the
kitchen table during family time.
Here is an idea that I have been developing for some time. Why not have
a ³Bookcase For Every Child² and then personalize it by putting the child¹s
name on it? Then we can start buying good character and morality building
books at their own reading level. Churches can do this as well and maybe
even have the men of the church build the bookcases and purchase some
quality books for the children¹s own personal library. Something else to
consider is that while the courts have removed spiritual training from our
public schools, our Bible-believing churches can teach our nation¹s young
people those spiritual and character values that made us the greatest nation
on earth.
Just think about what we can do together, in the months and years to
come. I¹ve always believed it is better to light one small candle than to
curse the darkness. In addition to the Bible and Bible stories, I would like
to see more of our children taught respect for others, courtesy and good
manners. I love to see and be around children who always say, ³Yes Sir, No
Sir, Please and Thank You.² Believe me, this will make a tremendous
difference when they leave school and enter the real world. If you would
like more information, drop me a note.
(Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You
may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)