This I Believe

Shannon - LaGrange, Illinois
Entered on October 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe…

I believe in taking charge of your life. I believe that people need to set goals for themselves and work to achieve them. People need to do what they love in life, and not allow others to control their lives for them.

Everyone sees the aspect of control in their lives. For example, parents control, or try to control, their children, and bosses control their employees. When you take charge of your future, you decide what paths to take, and how you will live your own life. To me, it is most disappointing when people do not take control of their own lives, when they let diseases, other people, or substances control them. Terrible things can happen when a person puts their life in anyone or anything’s hands but their OWN.

Throughout my life, I have seen the consequences of not taking control of one’s life. The one example that stands out in my mind most is my cousin. When he was fifteen, he felt he could not control certain aspects of his life, so he turned to drugs. His intake of illegal substances was something he could control. My cousin began hanging out with the wrong crowd, and they brought sex and drugs to him. Drugs and sex seemed to be the answer to all his problems. When my cousin fought with his father, drugs were the escape he could count on. When his last girlfriend cheated on him with his best friend, drugs were there to ease the pain. Soon after, his grades began slipping, and he started to ditch school on a regular basis. He quickly dug himself into a rut.

Currently, my cousin is in his senior year of high school. His options for the future are very limited. He does not have the grades to get into college, and honestly, I don’t think he cares all that much about it. He continues to party, drink, and get high. Frankly, it breaks my heart every time I see him, especially because we are so close. To think he doesn’t have the same shot to succeed as the rest of us is truly earth shattering. I don’t think my cousin realizes what is in store for him, or the impact of what he is doing now on the rest of his life. I have tried to get through to him and make him realize the mistakes he is making. I hope he begins to take control of his own life, instead of letting drugs control him.

Someone who does not have the guts to make their own decisions and take charge of his or her life is making a terrible mistake. If a person wants to succeed in life, they must take the reins, and steer the course of his or her life. I believe in taking charge of your own life.