Are you invincible? Social awareness in the 21st Century

"Let’s see... today I have biology and econ. Then I’m going to lunch with my friend Steve and a couple other classes. I think I’ll let off some steam by having a couple drinks later. I then plan to die in a car accident because I’m driving under the influence and failed to stop at a red light."

The statement above is one you would rarely (if ever) hear someone say, but how many of us know someone that died or was affected by a DUI? In every one of those cases, someone made a decision to drive under the influence. In other words: to let intoxication lead the decision making process.

Adam Ritz (R) presents at Acacia Leadership Academy 2015

Adam Ritz (R) presents at Acacia Leadership Academy 2015

"Are you Invincible?" It is a simple question with a complicated answer. Plans are never made to include a horrible occurrence, but often, we act in a way that could have a life-changing impact. At the Acacia Leadership Academy held in Bloomington, Indiana, Adam Ritz asked the brothers of Acacia if they thought they were invincible. Sharing his own story, Adam Ritz put a face to the question: "What is the worst thing that could happen?" The answer being: losing everything. Adam Ritz was a notable radio personality in Indianapolis, Indiana when one decision brought his world crashing down. He now speaks to student-athletes, greeks, and anyone else seeking an inspirational message on social awareness and the clarity of hindsight.

Each day we make decisions that may potentially have reverberating and life-changing consequences. Many of these decisions are made while intoxicated. However, we are responsible for the decisions we make, regardless of the limbic system’s alcoholic handicap.

No normal person looks in the mirror and thinks, "Yeah, I want to be called a rapist. That would be great." However, one wrong decision at twenty years old can lead to being labeled for life. Adam Ritz closes his presentations with a simple line, "I am not invincible." Rape starts with a rapist making a decision, it does not start with low-cut clothing or with alcohol. It begins and ends with the perpetrator. You are not invincible.

Regardless of the incident, Mr. Ritz’s presentation boils down to a simple point: keep an eye on the red flags. When you know that you have had a couple drinks, think twice about what you are doing. Hindsight is 20/20 and an arrest record lasts forever. Sometimes we think things are funny, like a brother getting into a fight at the bar, or even with a wall. Consider this however: these antics are only funny because of how socially inappropriate they are. You are your brother’s keeper, so keep an eye on these red flags and you just might save someone’s life.