Times…They Are a Changin’

By Heath Kull

Growing up in the seventies and then starting my professional life in the nineties means that I grew up with a certain amount of, and a certain level of comfort with, social change. While most change seemed to be glacial, some was startlingly rapid and somewhat chaotic. At The Ranches, the world’s constant and never ending social change means that we must always be steeling ourselves to resist unnecessary change while remaining flexible and fluid enough to embrace change that is both good and vital to our continued relevance and success. While some find comfort in shoring up their principles and stances on social issues one time and one time only, I am not quite arrogant enough to believe that I could have, in my twenties – or should have, in my forties – settled on a stance for every possible social issue and decided that I was done thinking about it and done deciding. I could have, had I been foolish, decided that I could not handle anything new after a certain date and then, as so many in the faith community do, chosen to never revisit nor think critically of those issues again. “If it was wrong then, it is wrong forever!” has never been my way of thinking. Sadly, as we march towards our unavoidable tomorrows, we are faced with issues that we must decide are worthy of taking a stand on and of teaching to young people and issues that are worthy of thought, prayer, debate and possibly, changing our minds on. 

Before I cause too much alarm, I would like to reiterate that we still stand for the values that we’ve always stood for, but I find myself in a position to have to help kids to understand how their social values are formed and how those social values should be

informed. While I wish that our country hadn’t taken the reckless and rebellious path that it has taken on some issues, I have to remind myself, and the kids and staff, that I have to be in the world, but not of the world. A taller task than it has ever been.

Heath Kull Helping Children

So, what exactly are we facing?
You only need turn on the evening news to realize that there is a plethora of social and political issues that are knocking at the door of all those, like you and I, who support The Ranches. From school choice to #metoo to abortion to 2nd Amendment issues to restrictions on what one can and can’t say or do in public. Some of my colleagues have chosen to bury their head in the nearest mound of sand, but I simply cannot. While I have no desire to try and tell others how or what to think, I am in a position where I am constantly attempting to teach kids how to think for themselves. It is very difficult to do that without teaching them how I tend to think.

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