Since the days of living in the projects of Alexandria, I always thought carefully about the decisions I make in life. It is a known fact that every decision you will make in your lifetime will not only affect you, but also the world around you. The concept came to me when my family was having financial problems due to choices made by the head of the household. Reality struck me in the face because there was not a way to make things better; only a way to survive until the next day. Every choice will come with a second thought and a feeling of regret because there is a consequence. What I did learn is that the choices you make, right or wrong, should have a reason for the fact that the idea of reason separates us from the rest of the organisms on earth.
I admit that I have made choices I severely regret due to the outcome of the situation, but sometimes the choice with the most risks is the only way to make through the day and possibly the weeks ahead. I remember when my family had relocated to Rippon Landing, Virginia, located near Woodbridge. We were living in this man’s basement and had little food at the time. My mother’s boyfriend at the time suggested that we should be heading to the store and getting a lot of groceries, but something seemed obviously wrong because he only had three dollars to his name. When we got to there, he tapped my shoulder and said “grab what you can without getting caught.” As bad as I wanted to say no, I knew that we had to eat that night. Soon after, I began to pick up packs of Lipton noodles and other small edible items to walk out with. I could not believe what just happened; our luck had turned so bad that we had to resort to stealing. When we made it outside, my mother’s boyfriend reminded to keep this a secret because earlier that day, he told her that he found twenty dollars. I had no choice but to comply with it; the last thing I wanted to see is another tear drop from her eye. If she found out that we had to resort to stealing, it would break her heart into a million pieces. For the next few days, I found it hard to look at myself in the mirror. The worst thing is that we repeated the task three more times down the line.
To this day, I cannot believe that we would resort to illegal activities. My actions that day were similar to the ways of a drug dealer. It was one of the toughest decisions I had to make because both of the choices I had left would have a lasting negative effect on me. The choice I made was not for me, but for the best interest for the ones I cared about. I guess in life, you will be forced to be in situations similar to this; to take the biggest risk simply because it’s the only way to move on to the next day hoping that there will be better days to come.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.