Heather was in the hospital giving birth to Jayla at the exact moment I was reading the eviction notice taped on her front door. How had it gotten that bad? Was there anything I could have done to help? As my thinking process continued, I stopped myself and realized that it was Heather’s fault. It was her bad decisions that led her to getting evicted, it was her fault that she didn’t have a job, but it wasn’t her fault that it had gotten so bad. The blame laid in the hands of James.
Throughout my life I have seen many people taken advantage of. Whether it was for money, sex, drugs, or just the approval of their peers, I have seen people adapt to the thinking of others and. I believe that stupidity is contagious, and like an epidemic it can spread from person to person quickly and has drastic affects. It not only harms the ones infected, but causes heartache in the family members and friends closest to them. Seeing loved ones hurting themselves at the expense of someone else’s happiness is never easy to deal with. In these situations, there is not much that can be done.
Heather wasn’t always so selfish and manipulating. From what her brother tells me, she had great potential as a child. Growing up she had fairly good grades, she was a joy to be around. That quickly faded away when she met James. After hanging out with James for a while Heather began skipping school, stealing money from her mom, and doing whatever was asked of her by James. James made her believe that the money her mom earned by working two jobs actually belonged to them and that she should buy him clothes with it. When James went to jail everyone expected things to get better, but Heather waited for him.
James’ ways of thinking begin to shape the way Heather thought as well. He believed that Heather should cook, clean, and provide him with everything he wanted and needed. Heather’s eagerness to please James can also be boiled down to her being taken advantage of by him. Heather isn’t stupid for being in love with James, but is ignorant for putting all of her worth in the hands of another person. She looks at James to fulfill her life and in doing so, she is forgetting about herself and the other people that love her.
My philosophy about stupidity has been proven many times in my life. I have seen people ride on the hoods of cars, jump from the roofs of houses and eat some things I am not comfortable writing about. The one thing that always surprises me is how easily it is for some people to get caught up in the ideas of others. It seems that people are afraid of having an original idea in fear of it getting shot down by others, and in that fear they agree to do stuff before thinking it through. Before they can stop themselves they have already gone too far and done something that they can never take back.
It seems amazing, but even the strongest willed individual can fall victim to being taken advantage of and have their minds invaded by another person. When I was younger, my mom had a boyfriend named Charlie. He was a nice man. After a while we moved to Lexington with him and things started to change. My mom and Charlie were always running errands or shopping, but I could have cared less, because I got to do what I wanted.
It wasn’t until my mom came to me crying because she stole my birthday money that I realized that I was blind to what was really going on. My mom was ashamed of what she was doing and I understand why, but what I don’t understand is why she let Charlie drag her down to his level. My mom had always been a strong and independent woman. It shocked me to know that Charlie had made my mom feel so low that she began to do drugs. I then realized that if it could happen to my mom, it could happen to anyone.
My mom has since recovered from the situation and has learned from the experience in its entirety. She has been able to accept that it wasn’t just herself that lead her to drugs. She now realizes that Charlie crippled her self-esteem and led her to drugs to control her. Even though my mom’s and Heather’s story are similar, they have a huge difference between them. My mom doesn’t find worth in other people. I believe that Heather could learn a lot from my mom, even if she doesn’t want to hear it.
My belief has shaped the way I live my day to day life. Through the experiences and lessons of my mother I try to find a positive side of anything negatively said to me. I don’t live for the approval of others, but for their respect. To make sure I am never taken advantage of I surround myself with positive people that love me for who I am.
Luckily the epidemic of stupidity can be cured. It is up to the person on how long the sickness last. In my mother’s case, the cure was getting rid of Charlie and I think Heather’s cure is the same. She needs to find herself outside of James and become the bright and bubbly women she once was. For those who haven’t become victim to this occurrence there are some safety precautions to ensure immunity. With self-confidence, the willingness to improve yourself, and the love and support of family, anyone can be sure to never fall victim to this horrible epidemic.
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