I know I said I would be writing about Apples IPad, but last night I was invited to an event called The Silver Ring Thing and I thought it would be an interesting dynamic to add to the blog.
The event is held once a year in several areas of South Africa and the rest of the world. The idea behind the event is to purely promote abstinence to young people aged 10 to 19, however the organizers use the lines “waiting until marriage” is the right thing to do. This is the first time I had been invited to such an event and so as a staple, I was rather skeptical, as most of the marketing was put to wards convincing children to buy silver rings and Bible’s.
Let me explain more clearly, the event claims to support abstinence, and sex only after marriage, which I to believe in and support. However I do have a problem with the fact that the organizers of the event seem to have something more pressing on their minds, money. I too also support and believe in making money, but using the religious beliefs of naive children sounds a bit too cruel for my liking. The organization say that you must buy a silver ring and then make a promise, and commitment to yourself, and God and then put that promise in the ring, so that in the future you will be continually reminded of your promise to wait for sex.
Although this sounds good, let’s look at it in financial terms, last night at the event there were close to 2500 teens attending. The entrance fee was R20, then they require you buy a Bible and a Silver ring, R150 and then after the event if you really did enjoy it, you could pop into the gift store and buy some t-shirts and glow sticks. If you do the calculations they add up to bigger numbers than just spreading the good message of waiting until marriage. Or are they?
After paying for my ticket and my ring and my Bible and my t-shirt and my useless glow-sticks I found my seat and waited for the “show” to begin. After only a few minutes music began to play and the presenters began to hype the audience. The naive teens were going wild, they were shouting and screaming for the presenters. Were they that interested in what the two presenters had to say or more interested in the free goodies the two men were throwing out?
After the music had died down and the laser light show had dimmed I could get to listening to what the two presenters and to say. And as they were about to speak, they began to hype the crowds once again. At this point in the show I was sure I had been scammed out of my hard earned money, for a weak, money making show about nothing of value. But I was sorely wrong.
As you well know, I am not one to be easily taken for a ride, I am a realest, and unless you can bring me hard truth and fact, I will stand on my beliefs, but then something changed for me. After all the hype and lights had died down for the second time, and the audience had fallen silent, the two men began to speak. I listened with great intent to find out what I had paid for. They began to speak about sex and it’s consequences and how STDs and unwanted children were not the right choices to be making at such young ages.
The more they spoke the more sense these two marketing showmen began to make. They were absolutely correct about their message. They were actually sending out a good message, one worth listening to. Had I been wrong? Had I made a fool of my self by thinking money was their only motive? And the answer was yes. I had been blinded by my over “real” attitude and failed to see the good this organization was doing. They were indirectly saving the youth of today, by equipping them with the knowledge to stay alive.
So if you can scrape away all the marketing, money making and hype of The Silver Ring Thing, yes you can get to the very real and very honest message they are talking about. And weather you are Christian or not the message is still relevant and very exhilarating to see such young people get so excited for such a hard topic.
If you wish to read more about The Silver Ring Thing you can check out their web site at www.silverringthing.com