How a person deals with adversity and obstacles says a lot about their character.
Learning that life doesn’t always go the way we demand is one of the common lessons that young people face, and right now, two very different high school seniors are having their character revealed in that way.
One of them is David Hogg. The Parkland, Florida, student became a bit of a household name after he seized the spotlight in the wake of the tragic shooting at his school, but grace and patience do not seem to be his strong suits.
Instead of calmly acknowledging that there are many diverse and valid viewpoints in a country of 300 million people, Hogg has instead smeared anyone who doesn’t agree with his radical anti-gun politics, which includes labeling all law-abiding NRA members as blood-splattered murderers.
Apparently fed up that the country isn’t tearing up its constitution or passing the sweeping legislation that he wants, Hogg has now taken to leading melodramatic “die-ins,” where he chants with a megaphone as his group disrupts Publix grocery stores and other locations.
There’s another graduating student you probably haven’t heard of, however. Her name is Toni Kress, and she has committed to serving in the U.S. Army after she finishes school this week.
Father defends his daughter after high school blocks her from wearing Army sash at graduation: “In today’s world where we have kids out there eating Tide pods, she’s willing to stand up and fight for her country.” pic.twitter.com/hlU2IjJKld
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 29, 2018
Kress purchased an Army-themed sash to wear with her graduation gown, as a symbol of how proud she is to be part of America’s great military tradition.
The school has stepped in and blocked her from wearing that pro-military sash — but instead of throwing an attention-seeking tantrum, this high school grad is taking the obstacle in stride with a healthy dose of decorum.
“I’m going to abide by school policy,” Kress recently told Fox & Friends. “People are saying I’m going to be a rule breaker, but I have no intention of doing that at all.”
Despite being frustrated about the school’s stubbornness, the military-bound student is dealing with the situation in a noticeably mature, adult manner.
“If the school says I’m not allowed to wear it, I’m not going to wear it. I’m not going to disrespect the school like that, but if I do have a chance offstage when I can wear it, I’m going to wear it,” she explained.
“I’m disappointed. She worked hard for this,” her father, who is a veteran, told Fox.
“She went through the ROTC program, through the school, in today’s world where we have kids out there eating Tide pods, she’s willing to stand up and fight for her country.”
When pressed about why his daughter has committed to join the military while so many young people today seem angry and bitter about society and authority, the father explained that it’s a matter of how they’re raised.
“You have to instill in them discipline, integrity … in the end, both my children have come out to be excellent kids,” he said.
It goes without saying that trying to wear a pro-military sash and attempting to dismantle the Second Amendment are certainly not equivalent goals. While these two things may be worlds apart, how each graduating student deals with authority and society as a whole is worth examining.
There is a right way and a wrong way to raise grievances or try to change something disagreeable. As David Hogg has realized that he doesn’t actually speak for the entire country and has hit a wall of people with far more experience than himself, he has become only more bitter and resentful.
Instead of taking a step back and asking if perhaps there’s a reason people are recoiling from his rhetoric, he has doubled down on lashing out at half the country.
Toni Kress, in contrast, is teaching young people a lesson in civil behavior. Yes, America’s youth will hit obstacles as they realize that not everything works the way they want — but instead of throwing a tantrum, she is making her argument from a position of respect instead of hatefulness.
That mature response speaks volumes, and it looks like the Army will be getting a very solid asset when she puts on the uniform.
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