Raise the standard

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Expect more from yourself

I know I’m not the only one who has seen it.

There’s been a sudden epidemic, a crisis, a scourge.

It’s nearly catching — a plague for the weak minded and strong willed alike.

It’s worse than swine flu, bird flu and Montezuma’s revenge combined.

It’s debilitating and infecting.

I call it immoralitis, but you can call it what it is.

It’s everyone forgetting what they believe in.

Now, I know not everyone believes the same as me. I know people have different backgrounds, lifestyles and feelings.

This is not a lack in ethics — this is diversity. It’s also not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about people who forget they have influence in the lives of others.

I’m talking about people who forget they represent a body larger than their own.

I’m talking about people who don’t realize everything they do is noticed by someone else.

We’ll start with with the first group.

I’ve never been one for celebrity worship, but I know some people who are. They love their celebrity idol, their Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus.

Little tween girls learn how to grow up by watching their idols do the same. They see how they act, speak, deal with people and deal with themselves.

When a celebrity forgets who they are, steps down from a morally high standard and slouches to fit under the ceiling of popular opinion you can only imagine what the little tween girls do.

They follow.

Then there are those in the second category. These people have a responsibility to others to represent more than themselves when they walk into a room.

I expect the best out of American politicians. I demand they have honor, integrity and understanding. I hope they have personality, whit and charm. I want them to represent the best of everything in the country I love.

When they fall short, we fall short as a country. If they fail, so do we.

Their words represent ours, do we want them to slander, slur and sneer?

Do we expect them to abandon their families, sleep around and deny their crimes?

Why do we not assume — insist even — our representatives live a standard above the rest.

Most of all, however, we must remember the third group. This group is always seen, always heard.

They are not followed by cameras, stalked by admirers or hailed as leaders.

They do as they please, but not without notice. They act out their own lives, but not without affecting the lives around them.

This group is you.

You must hold yourself to the highest standard, because you are seen when you think you are invisible. You are watched when you believe all backs are turned.

Your life is your own, but it is not inconsequential. It is substantial; it is meaningful.

So as you live your lives, remember who you are. Remember what you believe and hold yourself to that.

You will one day be in the other two groups, but for now you must lead by example. You must fight for what you know and preserve what you believe.

And if you won’t do it for yourself, if you cannot see the importance of believing in yourself, do it for the person you don’t notice.

Do it for the one who sees your actions and uses them as a model for their life.

We don’t need another Miley Cyrus, we need you.

Raise the standard.

Allie McCoy is the Issues and Ideas editor for the Daily Universe. This article is her opinion and does not reflect the opinion of Brigham Young University or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


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