This I Believe

Kelsey - Olathe, Kansas
Entered on October 23, 2006

Imagine: a teenage boy stands in his bedroom, motionless. Without knocking another boy comes in, puts a baseball cap and glove on the other and walks out. Another person enters, doesn’t like the jock look so gives him a cigarette and a skateboard. The next shaves his head, replaces the cigarette with a beer, and puts on rap music. As the next few puppeteers take the stage, the boy wakes, as if from a dream, and after observing the situation, leaves the room. This is what one above the influence ad depicts.

So many times I hear people justifying their flaws with excuses like, I never had a father, or I was always bullied in school. While a certain amount of sympathy is in store, these people have decided that they are victims and should be excused from the social standard. Everybody faces challenges and misfortune, its just part of life. It’s how you react to these hurdles that define who you are.

After a sticky divorce, my father decided parenting wasn’t for him and any chance of developing a healthy relationship was lost. My mother remarried and my life did a one eighty. I found myself in a new house, new school, with a new dad, two new brothers and a whole new set of rules.

This rearrangement of my life could have sent me under fast, but I was lucky enough to keep my head above water. I fought because I decided I wasn’t going to be controlled. I stood up and said “no.” That’s what you have to do in life. If you don’t people will take advantage of you and pull you under the tide. Like in the ad everyone around him took control of his life. At least that’s what it looked like. Really he is decided to live passively by allowing them access to his mind. Life is all about choices.

So, I choose to live actively by taking my life and doing what I want with it. I don’t let people walk on me and I only take on what I can handle. I take responsibility for my actions. My life is in my hands, no one else’s. This, I believe.