The Chance to Become Something Better

Joshua - La Grande, Oregon
Entered on December 1, 2010
Themes: change, hope
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I believe people are capable of great things. I am not very old but I have lived a life filled with much more thnn I could ever hope for. Through my life I have seen people fail and succeed in there life time. I served four years in the Marine Corps as a ground pounder, and have seen what people are capable of.

I had been in the Marines for about two years. I was a team leader I had a couple of good guys in my team, but then I got this one kid who was just simply bad at life. The kid had no common sense what so ever, and the team he came from before had just shunned him. When I received him his old team leader said he was worthless, that you could get nothing good out of him. In my team, though, I had a policy of starting on a new foot. I had given this kid a new start in the hopes that maybe he wasn’t as bad as they had said.

I was proven wrong. I would have gotten better results from teaching a pile of rocks. In most cases some one like this would just be put some where else or even kicked out of the Marine Corps. But I didn’t want to give up on him because I truly believe that people are capable of great things.

So I started to work with him day and night, I never gave him a break — I was around him all of the time. I even let my personal life erode in belief I could make this kid better. He had issues with understanding any thing that would come out of my mouth. Every time an order was given he would run off and choose to be lost because he thought that would help. I tried every leadership style the Corps said should work with any one, and not a one worked with him.

Then I decided to think outside of the box for him — well, the Marine Corps version of outside of the box. I would give him an order, something that was a relativity easy one, and I would make sure that no one would help him. When I first started this with him I decided I would not help or give any guidance until the task was done. The first time it took him about a week to just clean his room to the Marine Corps standards. But for once he actually did get it done without having to be told what to do or to have his room tossed. I continued to give him such tasks for about another year, stupid things that everyone should get, but he started to think for himself.

After that year it was time for me to find a new job away from the one I was doing so I could have a good transition to the civilian world. I decided to put him in charge of my team. There were way better people to do it, but I believed he would only get better if I gave him that leeway. I then left without even talking to him for about six months, then I was in the area so I decided to check on him. He still had the team and by the Marine Corps standards he was running a perfect team.

So in that one example, I believe that I have proven that you can take someone that is thought will never amount to any thing and make them great. The only thing you have to do is give people the chance to become something better.