This I Believe

Jerome - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 29, 2007

This I Believe

I once had a 19 year old friend tell me that he was about to become a father. I looked at him in awe as if to say, “You are still a kid yourself.” He then clarified himself. My friend explained to me that he was about to become the head of his household, because the possibility of his mother going to prison was imminent. You see, she resorted to any means to support her family. This family included my friend and his six siblings. Narcotics were the contraband of choice, and the selling of drugs was how she could put food on the table. As I contemplated my friend’s tenuous situation and how his life was about to be turned upside down, I called on empathy. What would I do if that were my family? Would I be viewed as a menace to society if the above statements applied to my life?

I prefaced this essay with such this story, because I believe that society chooses what it wants to be moral or amoral. I believe that the terms right and wrong are subjective, at best. The aforementioned story was a microcosm of how society works. There are hosts of topics that can be debated as to whether they are right or wrong. Examples of these issues would be anabolic steroids, religion, and drugs. Anabolic steroids are demonized in our society for creating a culture of cheaters, yet society doesn’t scrutinize many of the over the counter and prescription drugs that may be more lethal than steroids. Is God real or not? Am I going to Heaven or Hell? These are questions one must face everyday or be ostracized for being an indecisive “non believer”. Unfortunately, there are few who acknowledge that religion may be the number one cause for violence and bloodshed in the history of mankind. The same inquiries about a higher power and an afterlife have still gone unanswered 600 years after entire countries were destroyed for their beliefs. Drugs have been in this country since its inception. Whether it is opium from China in the 1700s or cocaine from the Latin America in recent years, drugs have and always will be in America.

Examples aside, this essay is not about what is right or wrong. The fact that I would like to see drugs eradicated from my community or that anabolic steroids may cause more harm than good is of no consequence. My belief in a higher power “greater than myself” is infinitesimal. The reality is that society conveniently chooses what constitutes right or wrong. I believe that in a given situation anyone at any time can make questionable decisions. There are some who conveniently view their amoral decisions as a necessity, but cite good intentions as the underlying motive. Was not the mother of my friend trying to accomplish an act for the “greater good?” I would argue that she was.