Convict or Convince? | MomsCharlotte.com

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Convict or Convince?

By Carolina Sonshine on 10/07/13 23:04
Charlotte Observer
  • StreetSafe car TAMMY GARLOCK

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What is the difference between convincing someone and convicting them?  Does it matter in the end?

 

 

 

By definition, to convince is to persuade someone to believe or to do something.  Alternatively, to convict is to show someone they are in the wrong or at fault in some way.

 

 

 

Not long ago I was invited to guest speak for another organization dedicated to teen driver safety, StreetSafe. 

 

 

 

It was unique for several reasons: it was my first visit to a high school located in Gaston County; my time allotment was a fraction of the usual amount; and on this occasion, I had the opportunity to address parents both with and without their children present…

 

 

 

After I finished, my daughter Beth and I ventured outside to watch the ‘hands-on’ segment of the program…

 

 

 

We walked around the perimeter, taking in the activities going on at the various stations…

 

 

 

A parent walked in our direction, looking a little uncomfortable as she approached…

 

 

 

“Thank you so much for sharing your powerful testimony with us. I was completely convicted by what you said.  To be honest, I didn’t want to be here today, but my husband insisted. I home school our children and there was an important book and curriculum exchange going on that I planned to attend instead.  But I truly needed to hear what you had to say, and it’s clear to me now that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.”

 

 

 

Roughly 25 teens participated in the program that morning, all of whom had at least one parent in attendance.  Amazingly, two of them knew Brian’s Story before I said a single word. A father introduced himself between segments; his older daughter was a friend/classmate of Sunny and knew Brian personally.  He wanted me to know Brian’s loss had impacted all of their lives, but especially hers.  Right before we left, another mother came up to us; she received some of Brian’s bracelets from her children’s Charlotte-area pediatrician several years ago.  They signed up for StreetSafe because her daughter required more: more training behind the wheel with extra emphasis on the many ways things can go wrong…

 

 

 

Sometimes we don’t realize a behavior is hazardous or ‘wrong’ until someone or something makes it painfully clear…  We must be shown the error of our ways before we can be persuaded to change them…

 

 

 

Convincing or convicting…I’d rather the former than the latter, but either will do…

 

 

 

Tammy will update her blog twice weekly…

 

 

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