As middle school students you are beginning the most important battle of your life, a battle that will literally last for the rest of your life. You should not expect to fight the battle perfectly, but you need to spot when you’re off the trail and get back on. I am talking about the battle for control of your value. First, let me tell each of you that you are of tremendous value. You have your own set of skills. You can love others and you are lovable. The trick for you, and for all of us, is to keep in touch with that value, to behave in a way that raises your own value and to avoid actions that diminish your value in your own eyes. What are some right ways and wrong ways to approach the battle? Here are some right ways—embrace a life style that makes you feel like a good person. If you love music, develop your musical abilities. If you love words, read and write and express your ideas in a way that makes you happy. If you love to exercise, take every opportunity to use your body constructively. If you feel a sense of spiritual purpose, do everything you can to develop a relationship with your higher power. Do not give away your value to anyone or anything. Do not let the opinions of others dictate how you feel about yourself. I know this runs counter to what you’ve been told–that adults have all the answers, but your value lies inside of you and you are in charge of how you feel about yourself. Finally, don’t give your value away to drugs and alcohol. As soon as you start letting foreign substances make decisions on how you behave, you end up the big loser. I hope you’ll fight the good fight for your own value. I know for sure that you’re worth it.