This I Believe

Andrew - corona, California
Entered on October 23, 2007

I believe that everyone always has a choice. A choice to do whatever you want to do, to look the way you want to look, to talk the way you want to talk, or anything else. That doesn’t mean that all the choices one makes are good, they can be bad choices. You have to choose which kind of choice you are going to choose.

I have an uncle who like everyone else had his choices. But he was a fool for going down the wrong road by choosing bad choices. He chose to be a rebel, to stick it to the man. He got really into alcohol and drugs. He dropped out of school, got himself a girlfriend and got her pregnant, twice. It worked out at the beginning. They loved each other; they cared for their two kids. But then he would get drunk or hopped up on some drug, and then he would leave. He would come back hit his wife, yell at her or the kids, and all kinds of horrible things.

It got to the point to where she couldn’t live with him any more. She was constantly on the run from him. My uncle would find himself in jail a couple of times; he too would be on the run from the law. He was so messed up at one point that he even said he was going to destroy our family. He attempted to commit suicide more than once. My other uncles tried to put him into rehab, they tried to help him. But he would just not cooperate.

Today my uncle is way better. He doesn’t do drugs or alcohol any more. He has tried to get more involved in his religion; he plays music for the church. I feel glad for him, that he has been able to leave all of those things behind him. But I also feel very sad for him because his life will never be a normal life again. He can’t go near his wife or kids without permission. It is hard for him to get a real job because of his record. All of those drugs and all of that alcohol have done so much damage to him, that it is hard for him to do many things.

Every time I see my uncle, I stop to think for a while. And it just amazes me how a couple of bad choices can really change a persons life. My dad and my uncle went to high school together and if you look at both of their lives now they are completely different. But about twenty years ago their lives weren’t that different from each others, they had all they same opportunities. That just goes to show you that one little choice can really make a difference. So every time someone says that they don’t or didn’t have a choice, you just tell them, “That is bullcrap because you always have a choice.”