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"I wish I was blessed"
A few weeks ago I spoke with a young man whose words have stayed with me since. He is young, healthy and full of life your average teen on the outside so what I heard I couldn't believe he said.
I am thankful I had the chance to talk to him. He went on further explaining his situation he is running low on money and he can't find a job. He is on the verge of being kicked out by his grandmother, he has dropped out of high school, and he continues to make bad decisions. I interrupted him asking him to repeat the last sentence he said, he repeated it "I make bad decisions"..
I said to him there is your answer. He looked confused and he stood silent. So I said to him most of the time we do not have problems, we have decisions to make, why not try making better decisions for yourself?
After telling him this he said, "Man, I wish I was blessed." At that moment I couldn't tell you how sad I felt and wanted to cry with him. Something is wrong with this picture for the young people in our community to feel this way. How did we get here, how do we collectively deal with this lack of hope?
Telling him it is going to be okay was not an option as harsh as it may seem. It is his reality, it is our reality. I told him, "Every day you wake up you are blessed with the opportunity to make your life better. You have the power to create your future! Think of each day as a blank sheet of paper write your life how you want it to be, what you envision in your dreams make them your reality. Decide what you want to do starting now. If you want to get your GED hold that vision in your mind then go get it and make sure you stay away from anyone or anything that says you can't. You can do anything you put your mind to it is the most powerful weapon you have so utilize it to the fullest."
He is on his way to obtaining his GED currently taking classes, while planning to further his education attending college and working part-time. In a couple of weeks he took small steps that changed his life in a big way with a different mindset.
I have learned a great deal listening to this young man. I think we as the great community we are have to take more initiative in helping our young people shift their thought process to a positive one. I truly believe if we start by helping them think for themselves while building a positive self-image they will understand how to make better decisions. Then our young men & women will not be afraid to take responsibility for themselves as well as their future creating the change we desperately seek in our community.