Andrews: Discipline vital

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Famed author Andy Andrews spoke to a packed auditorium at Opp High School on Tuesday, telling those gathered that every move one makes has an effect on society and that everyone should live by standards.

Andrews was the keynote speaker at the first-ever Covington County Education Summit.

Among the things Andrews touched on was the importance of setting standards for children.

“King Solomon said ‘discipline a child, while he is young or you will ruin his life,’” Andrews said. “I have thought about that often. There are many things we have decided to agree to disagree on. One of those is the standard we raise our kids. What’s the outcome 15 years from now? Many different things can happen. Many parents say, ‘we’re doing the best they can.’”

Andrews said that NBA-great Michael Jordan never said he was going to do his best; he said he was going to make the shot and he did.

“We all agree that society has been going down hill,” he said. “Another thing we agree on is that at one time, society was at its best. We call that generation the Greatest Generation. I would refute that and say that their mommas and daddies and their teachers were. That group had standards they were expected to do. They expected to be somewhere on Sunday; places they better not be on Friday.”

Andrews said things like “yes ma’am and no ma’am” are often considered matters of opinion, but that it’s a respect factor that needs to be taught to children at an early age.

“Twenty-five percent of adults across the country who are in human resources feel it’s disrespectful to hear a kid say ‘yes or no.’ I want people to think they are respectful 100 percent (of the time),” he said.

Andrews said standards such as these are important because many 21-30-year-olds are “unemployed and unemployable” because of their lack of respect.

“They need to learn that they can’t act like that and they can’t look like that,” he said.

Andrews said respect goes back to the toddler age of 2 years old.

“We need to create a 2-year-old who will mind the first time,” he said. “A child subconsciously knows he can make himself do something he doesn’t want to do. As a child grows older and is given more responsibility, he understands self-discipline. We, as a society, are rampant with people who have no self-discipline.

“For whatever reason, when parents and teachers start to become permissive and let things slide, we send a kid out into the world who has no idea why he can’t get hired or can’t keep a job,” Andrews said. “Then it gets worse. Then he gets angrier, and this is the path of those who are not disciplined. You can determine the paths by the directions you take. There is no power in intention. We make a difference with out actions. We can, and we do, whether we think about it or not. Every move you make or don’t matters.”