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A Childhood Lost and Forgotten
As I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee a place where orange and white dominate the skies. (I don’t care too much for football but figured I would throw that in). Knoxville is one of the four larger cities in Tennessee, which doesn’t say much for it since it is a city of only 183,000 people as of 2007. It was far smaller during the time that I was there as a child. Just to give you an idea of the size: Atlanta, Ga has more than 530,000; Miami, Fl has 362,000; and San Francisco has over 800,00 people in it. None the less this is a city of a very small size. Most of the people make minimum wage and if you made more than that there you are doing pretty darn good for yourself. The average person makes anywhere between $25,000 a year to $28,000.
I would consider this more of a country rural city that most people don’t live very close to each other, also condos and apartments are very scarce. Nice to know fact is that over 60% of the people that live there have been divorced. Also, only around 20% are not classified as Caucasian. These facts can be seen on the Tennessee Census website. One odd fact I found
out about the city while researching is that it was once called “Underwear Capital of the World”, because at one time they had around 20 of the leading underwear makers with textile plants there.
A characteristic of mine that everyone would point out and would still to the day tell you is that I was a very timid and sweet child. I do not treasure these moments because there were reasons to why I was that way growing up. I was an only child up until I was about 5 years old and people would notice me and the feeling of love from those years I can still remember. After my sister was born, though I could feel a growing discomfort and replacement. This did not only come from family, but also from the people around me and in my life.
I was not a good looking kid seeing as to how I had a massive head, giant eyes, and I had a pretty big body for my age. I was never considered obese as a child although I was a larger kid. The times have changed and the perception of obese has changed too. Let’s get back to what I was originally getting to. My sister was like an angel to everyone that could do no wrong and was perfect in every way shape and form. The differences between us were massive. We had different fathers so I had dark hair blue eyes and a larger stature. She on the
other hand has a more petite body, sandy blonde hair, and brown eyes. With these qualities she had opportunities that would never match those of my own. People could look at her and say that she could be a model, but that case was never going to happen to me. Also, when it came to relationships she never had trouble finding anyone, because her look was so appealing to people. Even though I never really was interested in girls I still tried to have a girlfriend, but that was unheard of pretty much. I think that before I came out as gay I had probably two or three girlfriends in that time frame. Over the years I came to realize that the center of gravity had adjusted itself around her and I slowly became a forgotten being. This goes for any kid that comes to have a sibling; they feel the shift of attention starting to go away from them. This is understood and is going to happen whether you like it or not. The kid will notice all the time being given to the child and not to themselves anymore. The time you used to play with them, draw with them, or watch TV is now being spent to change diapers, feed the baby, and trying your hardest to stop it from crying. These actions will unintentionally make the older kid feel a loss in their self worth. Sometimes they even feel as though they did something wrong. Have you ever had a best friend that stopped talking to you abruptly? All you can think about is what you did wrong and what you could have done differently to change it. This also happens
to your kid when there is a loss of attention being given. Children are clueless to the factor of why this is happening even though you know. You have to remember that kids don’t realize things right away like we do or even understand why essential things like time with a baby must be given. There sometimes can be an inequality between the two children without you realizing it. With us it became a more dramatic change such as our parents treated us completely different in the way they talked to us, showed us affection, and punishing us.
It was unclear to me why there was so much of a differential treatment between us. I could only gather that it could be a few different things. My sister was always one to be more outspoken than myself always speaking her mind no matter what the case was, she was the child of the father that we were living with, and also her looks might have had a slight part in all of this. Speaking your mind can always change people’s opinions of you depending on the situation and what you say.
She was more popular than myself in school and caught people’s attention since she had no fear of speaking to them. I have always had this slight fear of speaking to people and letting them know what I really think about them. That is how
so many public speakers and celebrities have gotten to where they are today, by speaking their mind and talking to people (Examples of these celebs?). Such as Donald Trump, he might have never climbed his way out of going bankrupt if he hadn’t been able to talk to the bankers and have full control of the conversation or making those million dollar deals.
Another good example would be my favorite and that is Anthony Robbins, and if he was timid when talking to people he wouldn’t be in the position that he is in today. He is one of the most renowned public speakers and motivators of today’s times. Many people have changed their lives because of his speaking. Now where would those people be if he was just shy and backed away from the conversations? Not only does your way of public speaking affect you, but it also affects the ways of thinking or the mindsets of the people around you. If Oprah Winfrey could not get in front of a camera then what kind of show would she have? Not a very good one I would say. The whole concept on her show is circled around Oprah being able to speak to people at a very natural level without the nervousness stopping her. Of course you will get nervous and have those nice little butterflies in your stomach, but being able to get passed those is a whole different story.
The ability to overcome those odds of failure is a huge part in what they do as speakers. The positive thinking and the ability to control their own thoughts and speech patterns when talking to people will make a huge difference between getting the “A” on your verbal report, making a million dollar deal, or networking at the fullest of your ability. Networking with people and furthering your future has a big part in your childhood which can’t be done if you are a timid or shy kid. You start making friends and you meet people that can get you into certain positions for your future.
If you don’t learn to be able to talk to people and make friends when you are younger it is very hard to change that as an adult and even harder to change people’s perceptions and thoughts about you as a person. Think about the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Well this old saying is still up for debate because you can teach yourself new things as you get older it just becomes harder over time. The younger the person is when you start to teach them something they begin to adapt to which can’t be done if you are a timid or shy kid the idea of it and will start doing it on a regular basis. This goes with anything! Even bad habits can be taught to children as they are younger and stick with them over the years. That’s why some (I say some because there are exceptions in this) people still have bigotry mindset even as today’s times have
changed. One clear example that has been something that has striked me at a personal level is the Gay Issue.
My biological father (aka the sperm donor) being brought up in Kingston, Tennessee and really not seeing much else of the world or meeting people outside the culture around there has become the epitome of a bigot. Kingston is a very small city having barely over 5,000 people living there and more than 10% being under the poverty line. Racial diversity is not one of the pride and joys of this city seeing as to how now in 2009 there is only a 3% population that is African American. That means that out of 5,000 people there is only 150 African American’s living there. Not to mention the very low census on gays that live there that are out. The census suggests that in the year of 2008 of those 5,000 only 5 are gay men. I am sure that this is slightly inaccurate, because there are a lot of closeted gay men in the city just afraid to come out for the same reason as myself.
In this city there is a very low rate of people that move in or out therefore it continually keeps the same people in the city over years. Most of the people living in this city are people that were born there and majority is related to each other in some way on their family tree. Because of these the influences of the people around you are devastatingly pressed upon you. You
don’t have that much communication with people outside of the city and most really don’t care about what goes on outside of the city.
Digging up the Wikipedia definition of bigot so that you know what it means, A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one who regards or treats members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance. Bigotry is the corresponding mindset or action. I can say this from personal experience that he is exactly that. When he found out that I was gay it completely devastated his world.
He showed me by calling me one day out of the blue and asking me if I was “funny”. Really not knowing what he meant by this I said, “Yeah I like to tell jokes from time to time, and think that I am pretty funny”. After that statement there were no giggles or laughter so I knew something was up with it. Then he proceeded to say, “NO I mean funny, funny as in you like boys”. Sadly enough instead of answering the question immediately I started to ponder on what he would be meaning by calling it funny. It became clear that his disgust in it was to the point that he couldn’t even utter the word “gay”.
He furiously started yelling at me after I answered with a “yes, I am gay and very happy with it too”. The next question that he asked me is if I was with the little black boy that I had brought up there on a visit one time. Which that visit didn’t go very well either since he told me to get that “Niger” out of his house within the first few moments of arriving. After some yelling I eventually hung up the phone knowing that it wouldn’t stop until I did so. He has still yet to call me in over 6 years to talk about the situation or even see how I am doing. I understand now that this is something that would be extremely hard to change about him considering that he was taught to act like this at a very early age by the people in that very small town.
Living with a different father than my own biological one was also kind of tough on me. Even though I always considered and always will consider him as my real dad it still is an awkward situation and hard for me to talk about. That’s why it is so weird for me to even be writing this to where people can see it. My step-father showed love to me, but he did it in a way that a child would not understand or comprehend in any way, shape, or form. There is no point in time growing up that I can ever recall my step-dad telling me that he loves me, giving me a
hug, or having a sit down talk with me at all as his son. The only way that I know that he was showing is affection towards me is that he would pat me on the back after I did a saxophone solo in the band and by the way that he would talk to me.
Now I look back 20 years ago and realize that he was showing affection, but he was scared at the same time. I would normally say that this is just how he is as a person, but that is untrue since he did not treat my sister the same way. I remember him telling her all these good things about herself, giving her hugs, and the attention he used to give her was completely crazy.
I think about it to myself 20 years later and realize it wasn’t because I was a boy or he didn’t love me. But, on the other hand he felt the same as me; he was awkward and deep down probably scared. Since he was not my biological father he was reserved when it came to love. I believe that he did not feel like he was my father, but solely a male figure in my life. You may say that these are one in the same, but you would be incorrect! They are completely different such as the way a father would hold you versus the way a male figure would hold you. A father would give you a deep hug and tell you how much he cares for you no matter what.
And, a male figure in your life just coaches you along by giving you advice and pats on the back. As a male figure in my life he was pretty darn good in most ways even though there were a few flaws and things that I would never want someone else to do to a little boy. He was very big on keeping me active and in sports. He would make sure that I was always in something whether it be swimming, basketball, or baseball. You name it I did it practically. I was never good at sports and not very athletic, but I did try them and that is enough said. My step-dad was always at my games and yelled for me in the bleachers. He would give me advice and go to the practices with me.
This is how I knew that he truly cared about me, because if he didn’t he would have never gone or even thought about going. I can’t remember not one time that I played a sport, chorus, or in band that there was a game or a recital that he did not go to. And, I praise him for that. Although on the punishment side there was an extreme. I don’t believe in spanking unless in extreme measures and no other place than on the rear. He never beat me, but one thing that he did still stands out in my head to the day.
He would take his hand and smack me in the back of the head if I did something wrong or said something that he didn’t like. This is something that you should never do to your children since it is demeaning and insulting to them as a person. An action like this gives the person no self worth and is more of a reaction that you would give to a person that you felt was stupid or ignorant in nature. Such as if you watch “The Golden Girls” when Rose would say something stupid the other girls would hit her on the head in a way of comically showing that she said something ignorant in nature. If your kid does something wrong please don’t do something like this just tap on the rear a few times and make sure that they know what they did wrong.
Looks have a huge part in people’s lives and can make or break you as a child. As a parent you always see your kid as being a beautiful person, but to people around you that may not be what they see too. People will tell you that you have a cute kid, but I have learned that people sometimes say that just to make you feel good or don’t really know what else to say. Come on what else would you say? You have a chubby kid, their eyes are too big for their head, or they have so much acne I can’t see their real face. So instead you just say that’s a cute kid and go on with your day.
Your measure of beauty in the world can land you a better job which has been proven as a fact. The better you look in an interview the better the chances that you get the job. All the chances that everyone is given is partially gotten due to their looks. Some people that don’t get it off looks can get it from their brains, but this is very rare. I remember back in school when it was so hard for me to walk through the hallways because I could always here the other people making fun of the acne on my face. It didn’t help the fact that my parents were not wealthy and could not afford to buy me the expensive clothes that everyone else was wearing.
I know that they tried to make me look the best that they could with the money that they had, but it still was not what people expected you to wear. I am grateful for the years when my parents needed help and my grandparents would come in and give them some money to buy me new clothes or get me better ones. It’s slightly the reason that today I still hang on to every piece of clothing forever and it is hard for me to buy myself nice clothes since I still have that broke mindset in place. I was athletically inclined, so I never really had a body to die for. I have taken my body from my father which is a very large stature, with super wide shoulders, and tubby stomach.
Even after being such an active kid I never did have the abs or the body that some of the kids out there do have. I remember my mom as a kid always afraid that I was going to get fat and my family was the same way. They would always ask on the phone how much I weighed and if I have gotten any fatter. This can be detrimental to a kid that already has a low self-esteem about their looks. My eyes were the biggest problem growing up though. The sizes of my eyes were just outrageous. Some people have said that as a kid I looked like an alien because they were so big and it looked like my head would topple over at any moment due to the weight of my eyeballs. People called me bug eyes growing up since my eyes were too big for my head. These are things that would have never been said or even thought of about my sister. She has beautiful tan skin from her father’s Italian background.
The skin I would remember was always so nice and perfect and she would have a zit scare only like once a year. Of course the natural blonde hair was always an upper hand of her since they do say “people love blondes”. And, I believe that statement to be true from personal experiences. The body that she grew up with was a body of a model that she still has to the day. Although she is very short, her body made up for it. Not
one part of her had that much fat on it. The body of a goddess was what I would call it. She may not realize it but the body that my sister grew up with is the body that most girls would die to have at any point of time in their life. In the athletic portions of her life she always excelled where I would be a massive failure. She was built to work the track or hit a ball. There was always a competitive feeling that I had with her that I thought maybe one day I could be better than her at something in life.
My family was slightly dysfunctional and had a weird way of doing and saying things to me. I have this one grandmother that I visited after I got out of high school that was just disgusting in the way that she spoke to me in front of my friends and my future partner that I have now been with for going on 9 years.
This woman in front of everyone brought up how pathetic my life is in her own little way. She began to tell me about how my cousins are doing so well and are on the right path in life. Followed by a whole discussion about how I am living my life very badly and it seemed to be a mistake. I did not go straight into college like my cousins. And, yes I am not a doctor, teacher, or anything of a professional nature that requires a degree, but
I am a good person with a good soul that thinks of people’s feelings, cares about more than what their job is and how much they make a year, and I would never disrespect another human being in that way ever, no matter how I feel about them as a person.
This was a turning point in my life where I had realized how people really perceive me as a human being and showed me where my real social status lays. I always thought that family takes care of each other and showed each other love in the hard times of life. Well, apparently this is not true with this woman. My pain and agony with life was her amusement and allowed her to put on a show in front of other people. I feel that I live a respectable life, but it seemed from the people around me that I do not.
I decided at this point in my life that it was time for a change. I would not work towards being just another ordinary person that would go to school and work just to be working. I would never go into a career just because of the social status that it would get me and my family. I would never work a job just because how much it paid. I decided that at this turning point in my life that I would pursue something greater. It would be something that would be life changing and extraordinary.
I would fulfill my dreams and do something that would make me proud of myself and who I am as a person, and not make other people proud of me. As kids grow up I think that we unintentionally slaughter their dreams for the future. We hold their hands and tell them what they should be and where they should go. We teach our kids that they need to be rich and have a high profile life to be something in this world.
I am just glad that at such a young age I was able to figure this out and change how I look at my surroundings and the way things are done and how they could be done differently. This something that most people don’t get to know until they are older or have wasted so much of their time on doing what society as whole tells them to do instead of doing what your own mind and heart tell you to do.
I always had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that something was different about me and some of those things have been figured out over the years. I never understood why as a young boy that I did not run after the girls or care too much about them like the other boys did. I remember as a kid thinking about men instead of women. Looking at a men’s
health magazine instead of looking at the Victoria secrets catalogue.
In the back of my mind I always knew what was different about me, but I began to suppress these feelings and did not talk to them due to the reactions of the people and family around me. I was scared! I had seen movies and read stories about what they do to gay boys that are out. I remember seeing the Matthew Sheppard story and it scared the crap out of me. I had no idea that most people out there are not that cruel. As a kid you don’t really know things like that. You just see something and you believe it to be true in every instance. Such as they say if you touch fire you get burned, if you touch it again you get burned again. We teach our kids to think like this.
Every time something happens one way then it will happen the same way every time that it is done no matter what changes. So, because of this I thought that every person that got caught out there that was gay and out was going to be beat to death. As we all know this is not the real fact… it is just rare occurrences that these kinds of tragedies happen. Also in church during those times they would preach how being gay was a mortal sin. I sometimes would think about this and I would sit down beside my bed before going to sleep and pray to
God to forgive me and make me straight so that I would no longer sin in life. This is only to be laughed at now.
God is an awesome figure and would not have made me the way that I am if he didn’t want me this way. People say that being gay is caused by surrounding growing up or even it’s just a choice made by me. This is not true! I was interested in men as long as I remember. Even as a kid I was interested in men before I even knew what sex was or how you did it. I went to church more and more thinking that it would fix the problem and that one day he would take the gayness out of me. Praying over and over for the situation and there was no outcome. After a while I thought that maybe God had forgotten about me, was ignoring me, or didn’t love me anymore. This is like your best friend telling you that he doesn’t want to talk to you anymore or just like a parent dying. The loss was huge on me and devastating to me as a teen.
As I grew deeper and deeper in depression I started having problems with my health. My mother took me to the doctor because at night I would stop breathing and it would feel like I was choking. Hyperventilating and having seizures in school and at home. At the time we just thought that it was a heart related problem and the doctor starting doing tests and was
checking me out, but could not find anything wrong with me. The one day we went he gave me this piece of paper.
On this piece of paper it was a test. On the test it had several questions ranging from rating your self-esteem, asking if you feel isolated, and do you want to kill yourself. At the time when I answered these questions with my mother sitting right next to me, I can still remember her face when I got done. She had never known how I felt about myself and how I was feeling at that point in life. I probably had done the most devastating thing I will ever do in my entire life when I marked on that paper that I wanted to kill myself. I have hidden the truth about this for many years and haven’t told many people about this time in my life and that’s why I want to put here on paper so that everyone can know and learn from my mistakes and maybe figure out a way or see signs in your own children.
The extent of this was way farther to the extreme than anyone would ever know and this is the first time that I will be telling the whole story and everything that I had done at this point. Of course as ignorant as a kid I was putting more effort into suicide than anyone I have ever known. I can honestly say that I was not doing it in order to hurt anyone else or to get attention, but because I felt my place was not to be in this
world. Analyzing my life with a fine tooth comb and thinking of all the bad that has come about and thinking even more about the bad that is to come in the future.
Of course the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about suicide is cutting your wrists. Well at that time I had no knowledge on how it was really to be done and was young as well as ignorant. I actually tried the first time using a butter knife. Talking about pain! I sat there trying to cut myself with that knife for a while until I could not bear the pain anymore. After a month or two I was genius enough to figure out that you could use a sharper knife such as a steak knife and it would cut faster and better. I tried this and failed, since as we know now that cutting from side to side doesn’t really do that much except leave a scar. My step-dad was asleep on the couch when I did it and I was in the kitchen which was right next to the living room. I ran and got band aids and covered the cuts so that no one could have seen it. I frantically cleaned up the blood in the kitchen and washed the knife since I didn’t want them to know what I did. I probably would have been caught that time but my mom was at work at the moment. This was when she was working the over nights at Wal-mart. I was even more worried and scared now that someone would figure out what I had done. It was winter so I could easily hide the scars
under long sleeve shirts and thinking that my parent or friends would never notice.
I had tried taking a handful of aspirin thinking that would do the job. I had even wrote and left a little good-bye note sitting on my desk. I took the aspirin and went to sleep in hopes of not waking up to go to school and bare another day of life. Wow I was wrong on the outcome of the situation. My mother came to wake me up the next morning and I was thinking “shit it didn’t work”. Then as I attempted to stand-up I felt a rush of vomit working its way up my throat. The intense feeling of nausea hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t even stand up at the time.
I told my mother that I felt ill and that I don’t think that I would be able to go to school. This I know had to be odd because I never really took off from school. I was one of those perfect attendance people for most of my school life. She started asking questions and I knew that she was figuring something out and eventually she just came to the conclusion that it must be a stomach bug or something. I mean why else would I not go to school considering that I never miss any unless I am really sick. I honestly don’t even know what ever happened to the note. It might have been found later by my
mom or something after it had happened. I have no idea. I was sick for days and mostly unable to get out of bed without the attempted vomiting heading my way. This I never would try to do again.
The one time that I am most ashamed of is when I took their car. Yes, no license not even old enough or know how to drive properly really. I took the car out thinking that I would go to this place in Knoxville that people would call lookout hill or make out hill or something of that nature, but you get where I am going. It was one of the high hills that were basically a miniature mountain and you could go to the top and look out all over Knoxville. I was planning to go to the top and drive off the edge and take my life that way. I thought that this was brilliant! There was no way to make a mistake while doing that. Think again. I started heading down the road and was making a turn.
Not knowing how to drive really was my downfall at this point. I tried to take the turn and completely went on the wrong side of the road and hit a fire hydrant. My mother never found out about this one that happened. But, she did start asking questions the next day. Like why her car has yellow markings in the front and her seat/mirrors were completely
readjusted. I did not want to confess knowing that she would figure out the whole situation and what happened.
After that all happened (left some out to shorten the story), I still was not dead. I figured that maybe I wasn’t meant to be dead. Using my thought process since I do like to think heavily into things I came to a conclusion that God didn’t want me dead and that he wasn’t going to let me do it early either. The only thing that I could conclude from all of this is that I have a destiny. There is something that I will do in my life that will change everything or someone. I still to the day don’t know what that destiny is, but I know that it is to come in some way or another. The mystery itself is exciting enough to keep going every morning thinking that this is the day I might feel that glory or find my calling in what I am to do with my life until then I will keep soul searching until I get there.
The hiding my life eventually stopped and I never tried to commit suicide again. I came out and have been the happiest ever since. I wished that it had happened sooner that way I could have spent even more of my life enjoying myself instead of trying to be someone else just for the people around me. It was all wasted time putting others before myself. Worrying about their thoughts and impressions when the only impression
that really matters is the one that I give to myself. As long as I am a good person and keep myself happy then what else matters? Nothing that’s what! Depression still comes around from time to time, but I have learned that it is just a temporary feeling that will eventually go away and my life is forever and will never leave me.
I am now older and more mature enough to look back at these situations and realize that these were not the only reasons for my discomfort and depression in childhood. There are things in your own mind that you build and form to turn the situations around to be completely different than they really are in reality. There are three basic things that I have found out that were causing this kind of frustration within myself and I did a little research to figure out why they were being such a big influence on me and my health.
The first of these is the feeling of being “normal” in life and fitting in with the rest of society. The second is the lack of having a Destiny in your life. Not knowing where you will end up and not knowing if you are going in the right direction in order to make sure that you get where you really want to be. The third is the idea of having power in your life. The lack of power in a life can make someone feel as though they are
lacking a soul and you are not going to have the same opportunities and unable to put forth the full effort that other people can put into the same thing as you.
The Wikipedia definition of normal: In behavior, normal refers to a lack of significant deviation from the average. The phrase "not normal" is often applied in a negative sense (asserting that someone or some situation is improper, sick, etc.) Normality is like asking an elephant to fly. There is no such thing or possibility that will happen. No one person is “normal” except by perception of society. “Normal” is just a thought or idea of how you or someone else should live their life. We expect people to live their lives a certain way and not the way they want to live it. So, why do we all strive to gain that label? Because, that is how we were raised in childhood expecting every family to be like the Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, or any other TV show family matter of fact. It is sad that this is the way we measure our beings and our souls by looking into other people’s lives and comparing ourselves to them and how they live.
Not every person can live like Oprah, Bill Gates, or Tyra they just hit the luck of the draw when it comes to money. Basing your life on money will just depress you and bring you down thinking that you can never make as much money as these people. But, money is not the end all and be all! There are plenty of people that are happy in their lives with just giving. Philanthropists will tell you exactly what I mean by that.
They measure happiness by the amount of good in other people’s lives and for the world that they can do. They take their time and put it towards the good of humanity instead of worrying about fame and fortune. If we all had this mentality then maybe the world would be a better place. Instead of trying to keep up with the Jones’s and having a huge house with a Benz in front of it. In place of that you could have a life of gratitude and the thought that you helped someone else better their life or even saved a life.
Normality is not what it seems to be, and because we put such a huge focus on it our children will suffer. Since people try to do nothing, but constantly be normal our kids will have to live in polluted air from your hairspray, wash in dirty water because of your oil, and have no trees to recirculate the air because of your giant expensive houses. I am one to blame for
this too. Why write about it then? Well I was also raised in a world of vanity and construed perceptions. The one thing that I can say though is small steps such of as this piece are where it starts to change. A friend as I was writing this gave me a quote that very fits very well by Margaret Mead, and she said “ Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This quote really started to get my mind churning. If you doubt that a small group of people could not change anything then look into the past for a moment.
If it weren’t for groups such as the NAACP there may be a lot of laws that would not have passed to get freedom rights for African Americans. If it wasn’t for the small group of people making the Constitution then we all may not have the rights that we do today. You wouldn’t be able to practice the religion of your choice, protest when you feel something is immoral, and you wouldn’t be able to vote for who you want to protect you and your country.
One that touches me at a personal level is the Stonewall Riots where gay activism began, the riots consisted of several LGBT community members got together and fought back with the government for their rights. Even a group as small as one
can make a difference, take a look at Harriet Tubman someone that we rarely think about as doing a huge part to end slavery even though she did. Risking her life while saving over seventy slaves by taking them to safe houses and protecting them with her own life even though she had already escaped she kept coming back to help. If it weren’t for Harvey Milk today’s political stand on gay rights may not be where they are now.
The openly gay politician served as a beacon of hope to all gays as he held a position in office as a San Francisco Board of Supervisors and getting laws passed to prevent gays from losing their rights. People such as these make it possible for us to dream of a better world and give us hope that things will change in the future as we have more and more people coming across our lives such as them. Change can not start if it does not have a place to start. There is always a beginning and an end to everything.
Wikipedia definition of destiny: Destiny refers to a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. It is a concept based on the belief that there is a fixed natural order to the cosmos.
Destiny is a peculiar word. It can mean different things to different people. It all depends on who you are talking to at the moment. Destiny can also be meaning for where you will end up with your religion. Some people feel that their destiny is to live and serve God while on the other hand some people feel that their destiny is to have a family. Either way these people feel that they have a destiny in their lives.
Destiny is your destination in life. Where you will end up and where you will go spiritually, physically, and mentally. Your destiny can be anything and the ideas are limitless. Where you end up is unknown to anyone. But, you are able to change it. Based upon the decisions and the actions that you do from here on out in your life can significantly alter what happens to you in the future. You could be an owner of a giant conglomerate, movie star, or even a writer. It is all based on how you do it and where you go with that decision of what you have made to do. Take time and think about where it is that you want your destiny to take you and how you are going to get there. Without thinking about it you will not ever have it.
Time controls us by moving too fast when we need more of it and it slows down when we when we think about it too much (AMEN!). Decide what you want your destiny to be in life and grow to that point while telling everyone that you succeeded.
Wikipedia definition of power: Power refers broadly to any ability to effect change or exert control over either things or people, subjects or objects.
Power is something that everyone has yet at the same time no one has any at all. People that we perceive in life to have power tend to be at the mercy of society. Truly we are the ones that give and take power away. We decide whether or not to buy that movie, listen to that song, go to work, or talk to that person.
We are not forced (unless held captive), but even at that time you still have a choice. If they decide that they have the power and are going to force you to give in then your choice is to do it or die. Hell if they kill off everyone that disrupts their “power” then they will be alone in the world to endure the wrath of God. No one person could stand up against the other
billions of people in the world and still be there when they are done fighting. That’s why I never understood how someone such as Hitler or Bin Laden could have survived.
But, really I do, it’s all because people think that they have “power”, so they do as the person says and conforms to them. Remember that you have the power as an individual to make choices and decide for yourself what you want to do and if you will do it. No other person can make that decision for you and still survive the wrath of the entire world. Live your life with your own power and do not give it to anyone else. Hold on to it like your prized possession and use it every once in a while by voting, making decisions, or creating a better world to live in.
To make sure that your own children don’t have the same things going on in their own lives there are only a few things that you need to make sure that you are aware of and are doing. Make sure that the proper attention is being given to the children such as quality time. Quality time isn’t really as much of a job or as hard as you may think that it is. Just taking them to a movie, going out with them to a park, or even just sitting down and having regular conversations with them that are meaningful and deep.
Not your average what happened today at school, but go a little deeper down in the skin than that. You need to make sure that you talk about relationships, comfort, popularity, and even the reasons that you love them other than you have to because you are their parent. Sometimes we grow up not knowing if our parents truly love us or if they act as if they do just because we came from their loins. Just because you pop a baby out does not mean that you love them automatically.
Love for a child can be the same for the love in a relationship. Being able to look into someone’s eyes and feel the shiver up your spine that makes you feel comfort and joy. The idea of losing that person would make you feel as though part of your life is a hole that can never be filled. The touch of that persons hand makes you feel the love back and that all the world if fine for that moment because you have that happy healthy child in your life.
We take our children for granted and don’t take full responsibility for them. We turn them over to the world without them having the full idea of what the real world around them is going to be like and they become lost and alone too
easily. We expect them to make their own decisions and know what to do, but if you don’t really teach them well they won’t. You need to make sure that they know the full aspects of life when it comes to drugs, alcohol, sex, and finances. You have to teach them about all of these things while they are young and sticks with them better.
When they turn 17 you are pretty much too late at teaching them anything that is really going to stick with them well or for very long at least. They will start making money and debt mistakes, contract diseases because they didn’t feel it was as bad as it really is, and they will drink and drive when they are coming home from the clubs since it isn’t that big of a deal. To properly prepare them you must take them by the hand at first and give them a larger and larger responsibility as they get older.
Slowly teach them, but you must make sure that they are learning first hand and not by just talking to you. Opening a bank account and allowing them to keep track of it so that they learn how to check the balance and keep track of their money, give them a prepaid credit card so that they may learn to use a credit card and teach them to not spend it all (maybe even require them to pay you back for what they spend by giving
them an allowance). This will teach them not to over spend and take advantage of their credit cards. This way when they are older they will understand that what you spend on a credit card must be paid back.
Most of us get into credit card debt very quickly when we get out of our parent’s homes specifically for this reason. We open them and say we understand that we must pay it back, but when the credit card bill comes around and we don’t have the money we just let it slide because we didn’t have the proper budgeting ideas and system to be prepared for it. You don’t learn until you make the mistake. The only way to let them learn is let them make the mistake tell them what they did wrong and work back to fixing the mistake. Usually they won’t go back to doing it that way again since they have learned the way of failure and the kind of pain it caused. Don’t pay the money for them!!! Let them learn and earn the money from doing chores (and make it tough) and working for themselves.
Relationships are another biggie to teach your kids about early in life. Do not deter them from having relationships while being young, but promote a good healthy relationship at any age. Show them how you should treat a significant other and how they should be treated. I feel as though when some girls
and boys grow up they enter into unhealthy relationships, because they don’t know what a real relationship consists of and the effort that must be put into one. Teaching them these guidelines and advising them through the younger years will help them out later on.
They will learn to be more aggressive when it comes to their physical and mental rights. Too many people are grown and still end up in relationships that involve physical and mental abuse, because that is all that they have known. And, what do they do about it? Allow it because they don’t know any better. Promoting young relationships also gives them a sense of self worth. You never feel any better about yourself until you are in a nice loving relationship that makes you feel needed and wanted. A relationship also teaches you the whole concept of compromise. This is something that you learn very quickly through having another person’s ideas and feelings to think about and put into consideration when you are doing or saying something.
Talking about sex with kids is a very controversial idea that everyone has their own opinions and thoughts on. Most people are on completely different sides of the spectrum. Some want to wait and let them learn from experience, some
want to start talking about it at extremely young ages, and some want to wait until they are older.
The thing about talking to your kids about sex is easing them into the conversation over a period of time. Start out being very general at a young age and getting into more details as they get older. The younger you start talking about it though the more comfortable they will feel about talking to you later on about it. You might say “if I start talking about it while they are young, then they might start doing it young”. Well if you take a look at the studies and take a look at your own childhood most do start young either way.
I know that most of the people that I have talked to have started around the ages of 13-16. I know that I fall into that category myself. But, if I was also aware of the factors that are involved such as diseases that can ruin your life or kill you then I would have been pickier and safer with how I did it. Never deter your child from exploring themselves or their sexual preference. Of course no parent WANTS their child to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, but remember that is who they are as a person. The way that they were meant to be and pressing the fact that they should not be any of these can push them over the edge.
And, I mean that in a literal sense because so many young adults commit suicide and end their lives just because their parents gave them the impression of dissatisfaction in their choice of lovers. Love is love no matter who it may be with. Either way they choose to go you still must teach them about the proper precautions that they must take to make sure that their chances of contracting diseases, pregnancy, and abuse are lowered since they can see the signs and know to use contraception’s in the case of having sex.
Drugs have become a very influential device in ruining a young kid’s life very quickly now-a-days. Lots of parents just don’t take the time to sit down and talk about them to their children. Tell them about your experiences, tests, and things that you may have seem other people go through just because of drugs in their lives. There are people that lose their lives, families, and health because of drugs and alcohol. If you don’t get a head start on talking about these issues you may allow your kids to apt to attempting them. It only takes a few friends getting together one time to put on a little peer pressure and your kid is hooked! Don’t scold them if they do just take the proper steps by first contacting a counselor.
There are plenty of counselors out there that will help you and your child pro bono so don’t use the excuse of can’t pay for someone to talk to them. Fix the mess before it gets worse; don’t give them a tap on the hand and say don’t do it while expecting them to stop. It is too hard of a habit to quit just from that and you damn sure can’t do it alone. Seek help for them immediately and they will help guide you to the right path.
My whole chapter one was based upon my experiences as a kid and my own views of how my life could have been different if things were done differently as I was a child. We can only learn from mistakes and hopefully some of the people that read this can learn from my own mistakes and the ones of people around me and they may be able to deter from doing it themselves. Broaden your own spectrum of thought by doing your own research and thinking about these types of things on your own without having someone else tell you what to do. Every kid is different so you have to use different methods for each one. Take what people tell you as a grain of salt, but yet still learn from them and try to not make the same mistakes as them.
Dreams of high levels of success are the objective of life to most people. They strive to become the top of their field or the center of the universe. We think about the successes that we could have had in life instead of what you should do to gain that success. One of my favorite quotes that gets me thinking about this is: "When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." - Alexander Graham Bell
The success of each and every person is completely dependent of what you do with your life. It’s not about how many opportunities that come across your table in life, it’s all about what you do with the ones you get.
Through most of your teen years to your twenties it is pressed upon all of us to figure out what career path we are going to take and how we are going to go about getting there also. The conditioning of our childhood brings us to the ultimate decision of our lives. It will be the one thing that you will spend more time doing than anything else in your life. You will probably work more than you sleep depending on the hours of your job, and the nature of the job. Countless hours will be
dealt to you in trials and tribulations of your career. If you are anything like me it will keep you up at night and haunt you like the boogey man in the closet. People’s perceptions of you will be determined most of the time by the job title that you obtain in adulthood.
Even though the character of your personality may be outstanding and very influential, people will look at you differently if you do not obtain that high level job with the big title that comes with it. Society has been like this since biblical times. The people with the higher status level in the communities or tribes were always the ones with the most tradable goods, wealth, and strength. We still go by this same status ranking measurement today. Only 5% of people are making millions and yet the social status still goes this way?
After some pondering on why this might be I came to the conclusion that most of them must have been born into that money. Wrong again! Only 20% of those that are millionaires are born with the money, which makes the other 80% of people either really lucky or hard workers. I like to think that they are the latter of the two, but that’s not always the case. There are lotto winners, law suit earnings, and scams that play into this too. But, even with those few taken out of the picture then you
still have the rest that worked hard and put effort into making the money that they have. They persevered through the trials that would come at them and all the problems that would throw them off track.
I wondered why I haven’t ever had the chance to prove myself and gain the same respect and chances as them.
I spent most of my life doing what I considered dead end jobs. I was working for places that would not have a future in their company for me. They were places that would have a considerable amount of people that have already been there for years. It was making me have the feeling that I was about 30 years too late to build myself up into the company. There is no other feeling like the feeling of regret for taking a job that you know deep down in your soul that you would hate.
I will start from the beginning and tell you all about the mistakes and the bad ideas that made me who I am today. In high school I was a very hard working kid that went to school full-time then I would get off of school to return to work every day. This was not enough to press me on to going to college. For some reason I had the notion that I would have the rest of
eternity to go and get the education that I would need. This was such an untrue statement and I wish it could have been changed, but what is done is done. Failure was and is a huge fear of mine that keeps me in tears half of the time. What if I had gone to college and failed at it? Never to be able to obtain my dreams and sacrificing my dignity to claim to people that I had failed at the task that so many people succeeded in. It’s sad, but true. Most people don’t do what they want to do out of fear of failure. This holds them back from getting to the points of where they really want to be.
This is an original piece of work written by Randi Miller. It is illegal to copy or resale this without the permission of the author. You may email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to ask for rights to master resale. Do not copy, distribute, or reproduce without my authorization Thanks!
Thank you for reading my e-book and I hope that you enjoyed it!
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