Smart Decisions


Jim Shinn ThumbnailIt is good to make smart decisions. I made them this past year. I was asked to make a presentation to a library full of teens about depression at BUHS on a school night. I volunteered and did it.

It was smart decision, but usually volunteer work is good. Volunteer work helps others and it promotes mental health and self-esteem.  Months later, a couple of weeks ago, I got invited to come back to Brawley High School for a “volunteer appreciation breakfast.”

I live in El Centro, and I didn’t know if I wanted to wait until 7:00 am, drive to Brawley and eat breakfast with a lot of people I probably wouldn’t know. I retired from working in education in Calexico, so my social network in North County is limited. As it turned out, Friday was a slow day in my work, so I made the decision to dine with some other dedicated folk.

We met in the cafeteria and I saw a few acquaintances and found a comfortable spot by myself. The food was good and I was thinking about a quiet exit. As I popped the last tater tot in my mouth, I noticed a friend, Debra Owen enter the cafeteria with a blond woman I did not recognize.

My escape was interrupted when Debra and her friend came to sit with me at my table. It was a smart decision to stay. I said good morning to Deb and inquired of her blonde friend if she too was an attorney.

Elizabeth Smart
Elizabeth Smart

She smiled and said, “I am Elizabeth Smart.”

Well, I felt a little dumb but I am used to that. For those of you who are news challenged, she was a Utah teen, who was kidnapped, abused and kept captive for nine months by a couple of nut cases several years ago.

Deb then shared that Ms. Smart had come to BUHS to make a presentation to students about human trafficking. What a smart decision on her part, to use her bad experience as a good opportunity to protect youth through the nation.

She was very intelligent, very easy to talk to and a very down home person.

When I heard she was doing an assembly presentation, I decided to crash the party and hear the presentation.

Meanwhile, another friend came and sat with us, so I didn’t have to sit by myself in the school gym.

The presentation was excellent. It was a dynamic trio of Debra Owen, Assistant District Attorney, Elizabeth Smart and Special Agent Robinson, I believe, who is an expert in investigating child sex crimes.

The presenters volunteered to make the next generation smarter about human trafficking. The kids were a great audience and I am convinced there were many learning curves that morning.

I also learned about a friend who has started a ministry to reduce human trafficking. Go ahead and Google Elizabeth Smart. Also go to Operation Underground Railroad. You the reader can also go on a learning curve. You are never too old to learn.

volunteeringSo to summarize, it is smart to volunteer, go places and make friends, try to help others when you have been hurt, pay attention to make the world a safer place, and go on-line to learn about helping others.

Makes some smart decisions today!