Allow the Change

Ryon - Marina, California
Entered on March 5, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, respect
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Allow the Change.

My daughter was 5 when she watched the police destroy the inside of daddy’s car. They were looking for anything they could use to arrest me. I knew and they knew that the only reason that they stopped me was because of my past and my tattoos. They always claim other reasons, but we both know better. They constantly stereotype me because of my appearance and figure because I have a record I must be up to no good. I have endured this type of harassment for years and it is tiring. I am not that man anymore, I am someone new.

Today I am the man who is changing. Today I am a someone who thinks differently than before. Today I am certainly not the man that I was even yesterday. What I am is a doting father, a loving husband and a struggling college student. What I am is a man who aspires to be something greater than what he was. What I am not is a man defined by booking numbers and parole agents.

I am a man constantly striving to provide all the things that a father and a husband want to provide for their family. I am a man who worries about the rent and the bills. I am the father who shoulders the concern of his child’s future. I am a parent who takes pride in teaching his daughter how to read and write. I am a husband and a friend to my wife. I enjoy fishing in the sea, camping in the woods, barbecues and sushi. I spend all of my time either studying, or with my family. What I hope to achieve is a doctorate in psychology, and to one day afford to send my own child to college. I dream of the day that I will give my daughter away on her wedding day to a man who is deserving of her. I have dreams of owning my very home with a yard and a dog. I open doors for women and help my neighbors. Are these not the things that truly define me?

I believe: always and unequivocally respect people for what they are doing now. After all how many times have you done something wrong? How much of your life do you regret? How many awful memories do you still cringe from that you wish you could change? Does your past truly define you? Or is it that which you are today? When you look at yourself in this way, you cannot help but think about the light you may currently cast others in.

So I say to you, do not judge people merely on what you think you might know about them. It is not righteous for you to compile your opinion based on a series of unfortunate events. I ask you to stop, and take a glance at what he is today. Take the necessary time to weight your decision on the now. Take a long hard look at his progress, admire his achievements, and appreciate his ambitions, allow them to change.