Hello World, It has been several months since I opened one of my articles with those words. I truly miss writing to all of you using that opening! I would like to discuss an issue that I observed recently while speaking at the Alameda County Juvenile Detention Facility. Please give your self a few minutes to read my work, as I hope to prevent some of you from allowing certain statements to be made with out voicing your own opinions.
I cannot state the young man’s name that made the disturbing remarks because he is a minor and I do not know his parents. So, while I was standing in front of approximately 40 minors of African American, Hispanic and Caucasian ethnicity. I spoke of “changing your personal belief system to reflect and evoke your truest and most authentic self!” The words I actually used were, “Be honest, be real, be yourself and not a carbon copy of what looks cool on TV.”
I was honest myself and spoke of my childhood and how I have never actually met my biological mother. I explained how she was addicted to drugs along with my biological father. I also spoke of how my biological father solicited her and other women for his financial gain.
While I spoke, the young man stated, “That’s cool.” I was taken aback and asked him what aspect of my statements were “cool.” He proudly spoke up and explained him self, “Your dad had to do what he did to survive and keep a ceiling over your heads. The drugs, was so they (my mother and father) could cope with the stress.”
I needed clarification, so I asked him if he felt that using drugs was normal? He nodded his head in the affirmative. His answer broke my heart! My speech shifted to understanding the negative affects drugs have on the body, mind and soul. I tried to convince this young man that escaping reality within drug use is not “cool.” I explained how I lost the joy of knowing any personal details about my biological mother because of drugs. I spoke of my nonexistent relationship with my biological father, because of drugs. Oddly enough, the young man listened to my every word yet his personal belief is that, “drugs are what one uses to cope with the stress of life.”
Then it donned on me, several television commercials promote that mentality. When that young man is amongst his friends, they may recognize and support that mentality. I asked the kid to write me, I hope he does, I truly want to change his opinion.
I know I am an odd person, simply because, I do not drink or engage in any drug use. Drugs took from my biological mother and father the rationalization of positive choice! The outcome, me not ever knowing Sue Ann Rhymes. I wish that upon no one. And hopefully that young man never has that type of experience.
If possible, voice your opinion against drug use so the youth around you are not misled into thinking, “That’s Cool.”