Preamble note: This (again is from) ‘yesterdecade.’ True and elevating principles never die, but live in the lives and minds of the honest in heart.

Richard L. Evans wrote:

We once heard a father and his son discussing a situation in which there was some risk—not moral risk, but physical risk. The father, as father’s often are, was cautious. The son, as son’s are, was eager to go ahead. And finally the son said, “If I do it, I’ll take full responsibility, I’ll be completely on my own.

That should have been reassuring. But what the son failed to see was that no son, of no father, is entirely on their own. No one is entirely on their own—nor ever can be. Inherently there is always a responsibility for our own—and even for others.

A pilot who takes out an airplane under unsafe circumstances may assure the ground crew that he will take full responsibility, that he is on his own. But it simply isn’t so. When someone is overdue, when someone is missing, when someone is in danger or distress, other people begin to worry and search and seek to save. When a crash occurs, when a child is lost, when someone is in an unsafe situation, rescue crews, families, friends, and sometimes whole communities immediately begin to go to work, often little counting the cost, and often at much hazard to themselves.

There is no way of endangering ourselves, or doing what we shouldn’t do without having an effect on others, with hazards and heartaches. And not at any point can a person truly say, “It’s only my own life, or my own health, or my own reputation, or my own failure.” Seldom, if ever, does anyone ever risk anything altogether alone. Seldom, if ever, is any act confined in its effect to the one person who perpetrates it.

And when young people wonder why parents worry—and when they say: “Why don’t they let us do what we want? It’s our life; it’s our sorrow; it’s our risk—it simply isn’t so. As parents and children, as brothers and sisters, and even as to the whole human family, we are tied tightly together. A child cannot hurt himself without hurting his parents.

And while the young frequently feel that they would like more freedom, and frequently feel that they are too much interfered with, let this be said to them in sobering sincerity: that parents not only have a desire to know what youth are doing, and also the right and responsibility—by the law—and the law of love, and by the obligation that the Lord God has given them, for the sorrow of the son/daughter is the sorrow of the father/mother. So also is the success of the son/daughter.

In a sense there is no such thing as being altogether on our own. ~Richard L. Evans, Thoughts for one hundred days (Salt Lake City, Publishers Press, 1966), 142-43

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