This I Believe

Sean - Seattle, Washington
Entered on January 9, 2007

Fight The Power

We must always keep in our heads a basic law of Darwinism, change is necessary to survive. I believe every one should fight the power. I do not want to create an anarchist government and I have no plan to overthrow our President. What I mean by the “power” is any thing that holds sway over us. I believe there is always a way we could change the powers over us to make them more acceptable.

My Grandmother is a smoker. She is leading a perfectly normal post-retirement life with her husband, my grandfather. My grandfather has emphysema and lung cancer, physical burdens that should have affected her. My grandpa probably does not have that much longer to live, yet my grandma still smokes in their house. She has made no attempt to stop even though her only lifeline to the outside world is slowly dying. My papa is the one that drives for my grandma, picks up groceries and does the housework.

Everyone can think of a situation where if they made one choice differently it would have had a better outcome. In my mere fourteen years of existence I have found that humans are incredibly varied creatures. Many things from the environment to negative emotions hold power over us. Sometimes we will be open and listen to new ideas. Some people will remain closed and guarded, thinking that an open mind is like a fortress with its gates open and unguarded. Both of those philosophies have some merit. Being too open makes you a pushover, while not being open to change makes you too stubborn.

My grandmother will not fight the power of her addiction. No matter what any of our family says she never admits that she needs to stop smoking, she keeps a stony silence, denying it. The cigarettes that she keeps hold sway over her at all times. Now, as my mentor slowly wastes away my once happy and healthy grandmother slowly melts into depression as this evil cycle continues. As much as my family tries to break the circle of depression and destruction that surrounds them nothing can be done to stop their decline.

I believe in taking a step back, looking at ourselves from a different person’s standpoint. People might realize that what they are doing is annoying, unnecessary, or downright arrogant. If people would stop putting blinders on they could make better choices. In life there are an infinite possibilities. In every situation there are a thousand things that can happen.

Change is sometimes painful or uncomfortable. However to keep everything fresh it is necessary. A long period without change is like still water in a stream. A stream stays fresh and clear by moving and changing, the water that meanders off and gets stuck becomes still making it stale and stagnant. I believe that you should fight the power, whether that power is addiction or other people in control of your destiny.