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When Nancy Reagan was First Lady, she launched an anti-drug campaign called, Just Say No! Her critics and those who worked in health care, law enforcement and other industries that saw the ravaging outcomes of illegal drug use, laughed at the campaign concept! I was a young adult who had been a teen when marijuana came to my home town.

It made sense to me that you could simply say “no” to many bad choices including illegal drugs. I always felt like, regardless of the pressure placed on me to say “yes” that I could say “no.” Let me acknowledge that those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol (or various other things) can certainly find themselves unable to say no on their own once they have said yes.

Now I believe that I felt that way because of the support I had from my parents, clear expectations they had of my behavior, my choice of friends whose parents were parenting similarly to my own, and persons I chose to guide me—teachers at school, coaches, church leaders.

One could just say no. I am so grateful for those folks who re-enforced my efforts to make “best” choices; they influenced me for good.

Hang in there parents and teachers. Hang in there church leaders and neighbors. Hand in there friends and family. Hang in there every one of us to give all the support we can act as influencers for the best in the lives we touch.

Posted by Connie McNeill at 3:53 PM
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