Stephen was asking about smoking cigarettes. Is it really addictive, he wanted to know. And why do people do it anyway? And how bad is it for your body?
As this was a great teaching moment, I was pleased to see a group of younger kids gathered to listen in while I answered his questions.
“I don’t understand,” Stephen finally said, “why the government doesn’t just make cigarettes completely illegal.”
Ah ha! More teaching moments! We talked about personal freedom and unjust governments that don’t respect human rights. We talked about the privilege of being American and the right to make personal decisions, even if sometimes they are poor ones.
“We must remember,” I finally summed up, “that with great freedom comes — ”
“GREAT RESPONSIBILITY!” a whole gang of kids interrupted to finish my sentence.
I was impressed.
“Yes, that’s right. Where did you hear that before?”