2018-05-16 / Editorial

THE CHOICES ARE YOURS

Martha Chalker

Every week one of my “chores” is to proofread the arrests and mug shots page. Unfortunately I find pictures and names of 17, 18, 19 and 20 year-old kids, along with those of every other age through their 70’s. These people may have fallen “victim” to experiences they had in life or their upbringing or lack of it, but ultimately they chose to participate in unlawful activity.

Everyone has a choice, no matter what! Look at some of the celebrities that grew up in poverty-stricken neighborhoods filled with drug and gang related activities, danger at every corner and living in fear. Still somehow they grew up and out of that environment to become productive members of society, contributing to positive change and working to make the world a better place.

These past few weeks I have had the pleasure of proofing a whole different set of pictures and names. Smiling, confident and excited for the future, graduates from every school in Burke County and homeschoolers grace the pages of The True Citizen this week. We want to recognize these students who have put forth the hard work and dedication to embark on a future of productivity, positive contributions to society, health and happiness.

I want to personally say congratulations to all Burke County High School graduates, to all Edmund Burke Academy graduates, to all Faith Christian Academy graduates, to all Mennonite School graduates and to all home school graduates! Thank you for your willingness to show how you can add value to your community. You have made your parents, your extended families, your many teachers over the years and everyone else who cares about you and your future overwhelmingly proud.

As you attend your baccalaureate and graduation services, know your community is sending you forth with encouragement and blessings. Graduation is the beginning. It’s also a moral challenge. These services are meant to charge you graduates to forge your way into the future by living a life of learning, wisdom, morality and finding happiness. Don’t fall “victim” to lapsed morality, unlawful behaviors or temptations that may negatively impact the rest of your life.

Follow your dreams, keep your eye on your goals, be a beacon for your community and your world. Again, congratulations to you all! Go out and make this world a better place!

Martha Chalker is a life and business coach with over 20 years experience. She can be reached at 706-564-4458.

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