I consider it a privilege to be a part of a group of young men called the Leadership Academy. The purpose of this group is to develop future leaders. One of the most important sayings of this group is the Warrior Creed by Robert L. Humphrey. It goes like this:
"Wherever I go, everyone is a little bit safer because I am there.
Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend.
Whenever I return home, everyone is happy I am there."
As a man, you're called to be a protector. What does that mean? Well, it's exactly the first sentence of the Warrior's Creed. Wherever you go, you're making things a little safer for everyone around. It means you're keeping the ones around you out of harm's way. Since most of you reading this are of school-age, things like making sure your friends aren't being teased or making sure the young ladies aren't being taken advantage of are a few of your responsibilities. It's kinda like you're the big brother. When you were younger, remember the kid that try to take that always wanted to take your lunch money (I know you don't. Besides, who takes lunch money these days?)? I know, just play along for a minute). It felt good to tell your big brother so that he could come and beat the living daylights out of that punk right? Having a big brother seems to set the record straight and let others know how things are going down. You're now the "big brother".
Keeping the people around you safe doesn't always mean making sure no one is being teased or bullied. What about making sure people are safe when making decisions about under-age drinking, drugs, and alcohol? What about decisions concerning sex, risky behaviors, disrespect to adults, or stealing? If you're a part of the crowd and not speaking up about these things, you're not a good "big brother". You're actually the opposite. You're basically damaging the lives of your friends and those around you by letting them make these bad choices.
But, before you can make sure anyone else is safe, be sure you're safe first. You can't make someone feel safe if you're not taking care of yourself. I was on a flight to New York a month ago and my uncle asked me "why do you flight attendants tell passengers to put on their oxygen masks before trying to help others around?" I said it's because if you're trying to help someone put on their oxygen mask before you put on yours, you'll pass out and so will the person you're trying to help. The same is true with trying to make sure others are safe without taking care of yourself. If you aren't taking care of yourself, please don't try to help someone else. The Bible says in Luke 6:42 "How can you think of saying, 'Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye."
To sum this up, just make sure everyone can count on you to keep the atmosphere safe and non-threatening when you're around and that you're doing all you can to keep yourself safe! Be the "big brother" your friends need.
Written 4/29/2013 by John Weaver