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Column: GET HIGH ON LIFE

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / March 7, 1998

MOST CHILDREN APPRECIATE STRAIGHT TALK

Earlier this school year, I had the privilege of speaking to a River Parish high school. I always solicit response from the students. The following areexamples of the letters I receive.

“Mr. Keller,I really enjoyed your talk with us. The part I mostly liked was when yousaid that guys will tell a girl anything to get what they want. That is true.And about drugs. I smoked weed a lot when my friend died. I thought thatwould make my problems go away but it didn’t. I haven’t smoked in fourmonths. I am doing well. The only thing I have trouble with is school. Well,gotta go.

Your new friend, (Name Withheld) P.S. If you want, write back.”

“Dear Mr. Keller,Even though you didn’t talk about drugs the whole time, I still liked it and I still had fun. Some of the things you were saying about me, like I had acheap earring, wasn’t cool, but it’s all good anyway. Thank you for comingto our school and I hope you can return before I graduate.

Your friend, (Name Withheld)”

“Dear Mr. Keller,Well, the speech you gave yesterday was very nice. I enjoyed it. It wassomething that I really liked to hear. It made me laugh and you really knowhow to make children have fun. Well, right now I’ve got to go.(Name Withheld) P.S. I wish you would come back to our school soon.”

“Dear Mr. Keller,I enjoyed what you said about the girls having to respect themselves more.

I’m 15 and a lot of boys have tried to take advantage of me, but I won’t let it happen. When you come down here again to do a presentation, talk aboutsex and teen-age pregnancy. That is one of the biggest problems we haveto face as teen-agers, besides drugs. Hope to see you again in the future.Bye.

Yours truly, (Name Withheld)”

“Dear Mr. Keller,I liked what you had to say because you taught some of us how to respect each other and what the word ‘love’ means. You taught us a little moreabout drugs. I know that I will never use drugs in my life.(Name Withheld)”

I received more than 50 letters from the students at that particular school. The reason for me sharing a few of them is to show that most kidswill respond in a positive way, regardless of what the message is as long as it is given in the spirit of love.

As a point of information, of all the letters I’ve received over the years, only 2 percent have been negative, or partially negative.

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur.

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