"Choices to Be Made"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, June 17, 2017

How troubled can our world become?

We seem to be in a downward spiral that is becoming a vortex we may fall into. Mayhem is the word that describes almost every day. Many of us are becoming hesitant to even turn on the news. On the other hand, we are almost compelled to do so.

The savagery and viciousness of attacks, such as the recent ones on London Bridge, are increasing and becoming pervasive. The people committing the assaults appear to be totally out of control with no concern for the after effects and whether they will be caught. According to news reports, the London attacker was a known, radical Islamist and proud of being so. He was suspected of attempting to recruit local young people to join ISIS. The police were aware of his activities yet did no intervention.

How long will it be before we all must wonder whom is directing activities in our world and what will be the eventual outcome?

It’s an admitted fact, ISIS has a better marketing program of recruitment. They reach out on social media, sometimes via the underground and ask young people to sacrifice themselves. Their appeals are warm and welcoming and target the disillusioned and disenfranchised, promising a unity with others for greatness in the afterlife. Each week, we see mention in the news about young men and women, from all over the world, announcing they are proud to join ISIS and are ready to kill and die for the cause. Alarmingly, teenagers have become targets of recruiters via Facebook post and their tales told after they escape are truly harrowing. It is difficult for anyone offering decency and a chance to work hard for a true, lasting reward to succeed against them.

News reports tell of increasing incidents of illegal activities and violence by young people. This past week, it was reported three Michigan State football players, with bright futures ahead of them, were charged with criminal sexual conduct. They do not stand alone, Baylor and Minnesota have also been struggling with sexual assault allegations. Pro football has had numerous cases in recent years that have ended promising careers.

The MSU events are a sad example and increasingly our local area court proceedings mention young people committing criminal offenses.

We were, however, delighted this past week to see several reports of youngster’s achievements. Some were my neighbor’s children. How great that the parents were able to express pride in their kids.

The Anthony L. Rapes scholarships, sponsored by a memorial fund in the name of Tony Rapes an agricultural agent from MSU, went to eight area students to further their studies in agriculture. Three Ubly students were presented individual scholarships to pursue post-secondary educations. Each scholarship was a reward to those who excelled in their education quest and were eager to continue it. A Bad Axe grad was one of four seniors who competed in WCMU Public Television’s Quiz Central. He earned scholarships for textbooks and room and board to Central Michigan University. Teams from 48 Michigan high schools competed for the awards.

As I see it, young people are being faced with choices. Some will work hard and earn rewards for their efforts and praise from their family and friends. Some may choose to use illegal drugs, commit criminal acts and have their names published in the court proceedings pages.

Parents have a role in guiding them in the right direction, please accept that responsibility.

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