Aiming for Personal Responsibility

Aiming for Personal ResponsibilityOne of the things about teaching children and young adults everyday is that teachers know the value of personal responsibility and they often begin to see places to teach the value responsibility in their lives outside of work.  I recently had an opportunity to see how a young man was learning this value when I took a weekend trip hiking and camping at a popular site outside of town recently.

After I had set up my tent and relaxed for a bit, I decided to take a hike. Whole out in the countryside, I happened upon a young man and his father. They were both obviously very close and shared many interests in common, including an obvious love of the great outdoors. The father was teaching his son to shoot an air gun. I am very aware of how guns can be misused, but I am honestly not particularly knowledgeable or comfortable around them otherwise.

So, I was not sure what to do as a bystander who had happened upon them, but the father saw me almost immediately and told his son to put the gun down. They then were kind enough to say hello and introduce themselves to me. I asked what they were doing, and they both explained that the son wanted to learn to shoot and that the father and thought it best to get him actual lessons and to have him practice with him before letting him proceed any further with shooting.

Aiming for Personal ResponsibilityI asked the younger stranger about his decision to learn and what his lessons entailed and I was impressed by how well spoken and adult he sounded. His father was obviously proud of how he was able to articulate his reasons for wanting to learn to shoot, especially since it is sometimes a controversial issue. The young man obviously just wanted a basic knowledge and I have no doubt that he will be very careful and safe in the future. After I had become a little more comfortable with the meeting, I went on to ask him the model of his air gun. It was a Crossman M4 177, and he was obviously very proud of it even though it technically belong to his father.

After this very brief conversation, I said my goodbyes and went on my way. As I was leaving, I heard the father remind his pupil about some of the basics of gun safety before they proceeded. Later on, I saw them both near where the campsite as and we all had pitched out tents or parked our campers.

They greeted me warmly and even invited me to share in making s’mores with them over their campfire, and we continued our conversation from earlier and also chatted about the boy’s favorite subjects in school and his love of sports. It is always nice to see an example of good parenting, father and son bonding and the advocacy of personal responsibility in action. I wish them both the best.

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