Chillicothe businessman and author Ed Douglas' book, "25 Truths, Life Principles of the Happiest and Most Successful Among Us," is in its second printing, and the author is taking the book's message to young people throughout northwest Missouri to encourage them and show them ways to reach their fullest potential.
Douglas said America is experiencing a crisis in character. He tells about a mob of people stealing from a single retailer in a flash moment, youth filming an elderly lady being beat up, soldiers cutting off the head of a terrorist, and Secret Service personnel being involved with prostitutes.
"It's an American crisis," he said. "America has gotten away from the values and virtues that made us great."
While some people are pulling toward strong character values, there appears to be a larger percentage of people pulling further away from these values, he said.
Last week, Douglas gave presentations to freshmen and sophomores at Chillicothe High School. He has visited with hundreds of students and faculty members in nearby schools, including Southwest, Hamilton, Trenton, and Marceline. His presentations are funded by Woody's Automotive and another sponsor who has asked to remain anonymous.
The concepts included in Douglas' book are simple, but worthwhile to put into practice, the author said.
Advice includes instructing readers to be careful about what they say, do, and write. He explains that there was a time when a person could say something and, perhaps, just a few people would know what was said; however, nowadays, once someone posts something on social media, "everyone knows about it and it doesn't go away."
Douglas urges his audience to protect their reputation, set goals and reach those goals by taking one step at a time, and realize that little things can make a huge difference. Douglas punctuates that message by telling how a high school tennis coach changed the entire direction of Douglas' life.
The author also encourages readers to make every day their best day.
"Don't let the little stuff get in the way," he said.
Douglas is quick to point out to the young audiences that while he tries to follow his own advice, he, too, fails sometimes.
"I'm 60 years old," Douglas said. "When I talk to the students, I tell them, 'I've made more mistakes than you. I have got every hiccup that everyone else has.'"
He encourages his readers and listeners to choose their words wisely.
"Don't talk negatively about others," he advises. "Have I talked negatively about others? Yes, but when I do, I don't feel good about myself."
During his visits with students, Douglas also leaves about 10 books for the school library or a class. A printout of his 25 truths are also distributed to the students. Douglas is available to give presentations to school groups at no cost to the schools because of local sponsorship.
"25 Truths" was first published independently, then Harrison House, of Tulsa, Okla., made a few revisions and republished the book. Although Douglas is promoting his book, he is passionate about instilling good character values in young people.
"Hopefully, it will help some people," he said.
Douglas, who, on top of "25 Truths", has written several other books, will have a book signing at Boji Stone in Chillicothe on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.