Be Independent

Travis - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on January 31, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in independence. It is the most important thing my family has tried to instill in me. This is largely due to the fact that I grew up as an only child raised by a single working mother in a rough neighborhood. She had to balance working two jobs, going to college, and supporting me, so I had learn how to take care of myself at a very young age.

I was raised not to believe God was going to protect me from harm. I have respect for people of faith, but this is just the way I was raised. You do what you can to survive. To have sole reliance upon an invisible supernatural force to protect you from danger never worked for me. You have to fight to survive, because nobody is going to save you when your all alone. When you leave yourself to be taken advantage by other people that leaves you with a life that can be worst than death. You are responsible for your own destiny. Once your life is gone, it’s gone. That’s it! No magical land of light, it’s just your pretty face in a wooden box.

When you learn to be independent, you control your own fate. If I want something, I must work for it, because nothing worth having comes easy. Now it may seem like a cruel lesson, however it has allowed me to overcome difficult adversities. I would never had been able to pull myself through school and survived the jungles of my neighborhood had I relied on somebody else to help me. I’m the only person I know from my old neighborhood that finished middle school let alone went go to college, everybody else I knew either dropped out of school, went to jail, or sleeps with the bugs. I didn’t want to be like everybody else, so I fought to achieve academic success and to attain my own identity.

The key characteristic for me to be independent is to understand my self-worth. Knowing my strengths and weakness has allowed me to accomplish my set goals. You just need to not give up on yourself. In all if your want a happy life you have to work to earn it. If your not living an enjoyable life, then that’s unfortunate, because your responsible for your own fate. It’s foolish to believe that God or somebody else is looking out for your well being. However, being independent doesn’t make you a dispassionate and distrusting person, which is a common misinterpretation. For me it means you know how to take care of yourself and how to achieve what you want in life. You can still be independent and have love for other people. In fact, people are the most important things in my life, because they give me happiness and laughter. I know it sounds harsh for a family lesson, but it is a lesson that I’ll forever hold.