Jack McEncroe: Elect leaders with integrity
Seven and one half decades on earth, 13 solid months of combat, 17 years working with the children at the street events in Winter Carnival and 40 years of living in Steamboat have afforded me a unique perspective.
On those cold February Winter Carnival mornings, I always enjoyed watching the annual growth of the children. They are our future and no matter what political or religious affiliation we have, our future as a community and a country resides in how they are raised and what values we instill in them.
Instilling values, morals, integrity and the importance of discipline should be the responsibility of the parents initially and ultimately. Unfortunately, in this politically correct trap that many have fallen for, some parents want to be friends with their children first and parents when convenient.
As a result, teachers and society in general suffer as “IT” all flows downhill.
Every February, during Winter Carnival, the children who had participated in prior years schooled the “new kids” on the seriousness of following my rules, which were all based on keeping them safe while they were having fun. I addressed infractions firmly and in 17 years, there was never a problem beyond the first transgression as children inherently respect discipline.
Our children need to be able to look at their parents, teachers, coaches, religious leaders and law enforcement officers for direction. They need to see integrity and self discipline in their leaders and learn from our example. Over the past 40 years, I have witnessed the carnage when they do not.
In combat I am certain that the most often-heard prayer from those on their first day is “please God don’t let me let my buddies down.” It is never about self but rather about those next to us and most importantly those entrusted to us.
Mission accomplishment is paramount, and keeping those entrusted to us safe while doing so requires skillful execution under pressure. This requires preparation and the ability to adapt by drawing on knowledge gained through exhaustive study and past experience.
Exhaustive study requires the integrity and self discipline to push oneself to the limits of preparation, which will pay dividends in gaining positive experience and keeping your people alive. Integrity is a leader’s foundation and compass.
Elect leaders with integrity. Your safety, our children’s future, and our freedom depend on it.
Jack McEncroe, Marine
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