I spoke in a previous blog entry about teaching my daughter there are consequences to our actions. In the blog I mentioned I believe we are moving into (and in many ways are in) a society with very little thought of consequences to actions. And that, in fact, as parents we are responsible for teaching our children that not only are consequences real but we should expect them. The recent well-publicized DJ prank, I believe, reinforces my thoughts.

Everyone (I believe) has heard about the nurse who inadvertently provided two DJ’s on air information on Great Britain’s princess’s medical condition. Following this incident, the nurse was found having committed suicide. Before I go any further, please know that I feel very sad for the family of the nurse and everyone involved and there would have been no way the DJs could’ve predicted the nurse’s response. I, do however, feel this is an example of no thought to consequences or, frankly, just not caring what those consequences could be.

The ending of  this DJ prank reminds me of another one several years back where despite being warned, a radio station had people drink large amounts of water in order to win a prize. A woman died. These DJ’s were warned but ignored the warning. Life was lost because of a lack of believing in consequences. I’m sure there are many more tragic ends following pranks that don’t make national news. I know there are lots of things ending tragically that were not pranks; just poor judgement.

I’m not angry at the people who had moments of poor judgement; who didn’t take a moment to think through their actions. I’m not intending to condemn anyone or place blame on anyone. I’m not calling for stricter laws or this to become a political moment. It was a horrible and tragic end to what was thought to be a harmless prank.

It’s important to remember even if this woman didn’t die, there would’ve been consequences. Maybe not as severe as death but still consequences. A woman’s privacy was invaded. Potentially information she would’ve preferred to keep between her and her husband. I mean, really, who wants the world (literally) to know you’ve had your head in the toilet all night long? I’m not saying she was vomiting all night (quite frankly, I don’t know if she was), but that could’ve been aired if she had been. She could then become the punch line to jokes because she was pregnant and sick. Even a princess deserves some privacy.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I’ve loved you. -John 15:12

Even worse than the lack of fore-thought is the lack of compassion that I see in pranks that end in tragedy. Compassion is caring about others and truly wanting what’s best for them. In both of the situations, there was no compassion. If there was, the DJ’s would’ve not called in hopes of gaining some personal information about the princess. The other DJ’s wouldn’t have ignored the fact that someone could get severely sick and die from being forced to drink too much water. Compassion would’ve forced them to think it through. They would’ve put themselves in someone else’s shoes and considered how they’d feel if it happened to them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these people are completely void of compassion. I’m not saying there are not those they love dearly and would do anything for. What I am suggesting is there was the missing piece of being compassionate toward those they don’t know. People who aren’t family and friends. True compassion for strangers is harder than for those who you personally know.

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Teach me good judgement and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. -Psalms 119:66

I do, however, wish to point out that as parents we can instill in our child right from wrong. We can instill in our children to take time to think through our actions. To remember that even as adults we are held accountable. No one is exempt. Although I won’t be able to be with my child as she makes every decision, especially once she becomes an adult, the important lessons should stick with her. For me and my house, teaching my children God’s word and to be good disciples is essential in reinforcing consequences. Using God as a guide, we can teach them to be compassionate toward everyone.

Let’s not call for others to make changes or for politics to sort out these issues. Let’s start at home. Teaching those who will inherit this world. Teach a child to be compassionate and to recognize consequences. Teach them how to show God’s love to everyone.

Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you. -Proverbs 2:11

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