This I Believe

Matthew - Geyserville, California
Entered on March 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that being “square” can be all right. Urban dictionary defines “square” as “someone who never does anything. Either he has been refined most of his life and doesn’t know what’s out there, or he’s incapable of having fun.” I would be what some would consider a square. Although, this doesn’t mean that I spend my Friday nights at home with my nose stuck in a book, it does mean that I refrain from smoking, doing drugs, and even drinking. I have a lot of friends that consider this the best way to have fun even though there are many other better things they could be doing. From these friends I hear about all of the struggles they face because of this. Stories beginning with “Then the cops came so I ran out the back door” and requests like “hey do you know anyone that can buy alcohol for us?”

I recall as a kid, in school we were taught all of these lessons on why not to do things like smoking cigarettes and dope, and even given horror stories from people who’s lives had been ruined by substance abuse. Did all of those lessons from our childhood disappear? Everyone can remember the names of Columbus’s three ships and who our freed the slaves, but why is it that so many people can’t remember that smoking dope and sniffing paint messes you up? Who was it that one day told everyone, “hey it’s okay, everyone was lying! This isn’t bad at all!” I never had any intention of smoking especially since I saw what my parents went through. I can remember on elementary school days after receiving some sort of speech on the hazards on smoking, I’d go home and when my mom would light up a cigarette I’d ask her “mom why don’t you stop smoking?” When my aunt quit smoking a few years ago, it gave many other people in the family inspiration to quit as well. I remember how happy I was that day in Safeway and I saw that box of nicotine patches in our cart at the checkout line. After all of that, how could I ever find myself smoking?

I’ve never had to face with the ordeal running from the cops, or the nightmare of my parents finding out that I spent the night wasted. I’ve never had to consider quitting the things that I enjoy, and when I have fun I can always remember having such fun. I don’t mind other people who do these things, but it’s just not for me. I’m not a nerd, I prefer hanging out with friends to reading, and I’m not “straight edge,” I could never give up meat. I simply choose not to do these things without any strange social quirks attached. While I may not be square as a six sided die, I believe that being a little square is a good idea.