Be prepared to accept challenges throughout life


At an early age, our parents prepare us for life. They feed us, clean us and teach us.

Once we master potty training, we head off to kindergarten and learn everything we need to know to get along in this world.

At age 12, I became a Boy Scout and learned the motto: “Be Prepared!” 

Each hike, camping trip and outdoor adventure was a challenge. Making checklists, cooking over an open fire and sleeping in tents prepared us boys to become men and “to build character.”

College life prepared us with practical tools.  Plan, focus, complete assignments on time, attend all classes and respect authority. When stopped by the sheriff on a country road after a fraternity party, he provided safety tips: “Keep the yellow line on the left.” There were no lines to walk.

When I started teaching high school in 1959, the new teacher orientation “prepared” us for the classroom. The seminar leader said: “The principal is afraid of the superintendent; the superintendent is afraid of the school board, the school board is afraid of the parents; the parents are afraid of the students; and the students are not afraid of anyone.”

When I planned to marry, I was asked if I was prepared? The state had laws; the church had rules; and married people gave advice freely. An uncle wisely said: “I’ve been married over 50 years. All you have to say is ‘Yes, Dear!’ to be happy.”

Be prepared! We hear this message from the television weather experts as the hurricane season moves into full gear. There are evacuation routes, guides and checklists for supplies and community emergency resources. Currently, many seniors are prepared with lots of canned goods and toilet paper.

At church, the pastor reads from Luke 12:40 “Be Prepared!” Then the congregation sings the hymn: “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.” Further, during the sermon, the message focuses on preparing for “eternity with God in heaven” by doing good works, loving my neighbor and having a belief in good over evil.

Health experts continue to advise us to “wear masks, maintain social distancing and stay safe at home” as the coronavirus spreads. Then we wonder: “Why was our government unprepared for the coronavirus?” The challenge is always: “Be Prepared!” Are you prepared?

Ed Baranowski is an award-winning writer, artist, speaker and seminar leader. He lives in Melbourne and can be contacted at