Sunday night was the Miss USA pageant. We love watching the interview section of pageants. How the ladies handle themselves under pressure. Whether they answer the way they feel or answer the way they think the judges want them to. Their answers can be very telling.
“The Mayor of New York City plans to ban the sale of large, sugary drinks. Does this go too far?” This was her answer, “I don’t think it goes too far, you know. Those drinks have much sugar in them, and they are unhealthy for you. They are kinda delicious. I love to have my when I go to. But I think that it is a little bit too much, and I’m glad that they are putting some sort of restrictions on it. So. I think it’s a good thing.”
I'm becoming more and more amazed at the amount of people who think force is the best way to handle things. When my kids were little I worried about them touching the stove top. I took precautions to help their safety. Put the handles toward the back of the stove rather than hanging over the top where little fingers could grab at it for instance. I also taught them about hot and cold. When the stove was on sometimes I'd pick them up and carefully put their hands just close enough they could feel heat without getting burned, but so they'd feel and understand that the stove was hot. Then I'd explain that we don't touch things that are hot or we get burned. As they got a little older and they could see over the top of the stove, I taught them in more detail such as if the burner is red it's hot, don't touch it. If the oven door is warm it's probably hot inside etc. Then when they got even older I taught them how to use the oven and stove top using safety measures.
Never once did I move the oven out to the garage door. Never did I build a wall around the stove and forbid my kids go near it. I educated them and yes, I let them learn from natural consequences. There were a couple times that a child reached up and touched the hot plate...none of them ever did it twice.
What would have happened if I'd have just taken the temptation away? Moved the stove out to the garage, protected them from making the wrong decision? Where would they be now? They would be adults who haven't learned about hot ovens and stove safety. They wouldn't be as informed and educated and they'd probably be burning themselves every time they made Ramen noodles, which is probably all they could cook too.
What about God? Didn't he give us agency? The right to choose wrong or right. I'm grateful that he allowed Adam and Eve to eat that apple. Yes, because of it they were kicked out of the garden, but because of it you and I are here as well. Free agency is a beautiful thing. If we are forced to choose someone else's way how will we learn and grow? We can't.
Do you recall a time in your life when someone wouldn't allow you to make a choice you wanted? It probably didn't go over well. Possibly, you were even more tempted than when you had the option. Look at how well prohibition went over.
Back to the large sugary drinks. It's pretty well known that a 64 oz. soda is bad for us. But by banning large drinks will that stop people from drinking lots of soda or other sugary drinks? I say no. Instead of drinking a can of soda can't someone drink 3? Instead of getting the large cup at the restaurant can't someone just refill their small cup over and over? I know that if I eat or drink ANYTHING in large quantities it's going to be bad for my body. But does that mean that because I may not choose the right someone else should just take the option away so that I don't fail? Of course not!
As adults, do we really want people determining what's good for us, what's okay for us, what's allowed-and then enforcing it? What if the next politician that comes along says ice cream is bad for us and bans it? Then chocolate cake? Then fried chicken? Should restaurants only be able to serve one serving size courses? Should you only be able to purchase a 4 oz. steak at your local steak house? Certainly that would help this country's percentage of obesity improve. What happens when food isn't enough? When some politician says we're overweight because we're too idle. Will televisions have auto turn-off timers? Will certain religions be banned because someone decides which ones are right or wrong?
Wherefore, men...are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death.
2 Nephi 2:27
We have to allow people to make decisions, even if they're wrong. That's God's plan. Who are we to say there's a better way? If this life is a test then we must be allowed to succeed or fail. It's often through our failures that we succeed. Look around. Who do you know that is strong and successful? Do you think they ever made a wrong turn that got them to where they are now? I'm guessing yes.
I know what you're thinking. They may not turn around though. They may just keep going down the wrong road. This is why we have such an obesity problem. You're right. They may not. But that's their choice, they'll reap the consequences whether it's weight, health or both. I guarantee that they know why their overweight or unhealthy- and taking away large sugary drinks isn't going to fix this. If someone wants temporary pleasure instead of long-term rewards of health then that's their choice. Why is this so hard to see? Force is Satan's plan!
BTW, Miss Georgia was 4th runner up. Last place of those who answered questions.