No Excuses Allowed. Change is Up to You.

1376 Words6 Pages
Throughout all of our lives, we experience thousands of memorable moments, many of which are defining moments. Sometimes these events confirm that we are on the right path, expanding our options and helping us mature. Looking back on my life, it is not difficult to select several path-confirming events: Learning to drive, graduating high school, meeting my wife, getting married, and the birth of my children; these are just a few of them. However, there are other times when an event is so dramatic that it forever changes you; it makes you jump the track you are on and start a new path in an entirely different direction. I have had several of these extreme moments in my life (in no particular order): Finding God, learning sign language, and working with homeless ministries are just a few. Thinking back, the most life-altering moment in my life was when I heard and felt the cell door slamming shut, sealing me away from freedom for six months in the Los Angeles County Jail. Before this, I was a self-centered egotistic narcissist, and I did not know that there was anything wrong with being that way. Afterwards, I was very motivated to change my life for the better. Growing up as the second youngest of six testosterone-filled boys was definitely a challenge. Through the constant fighting with my brothers, and boxing/wrestling lessons, I soon became quite good at self-defense; but that was only the beginning of my education. My father taught us logic and common sense, believing that those two skills, along with physical prowess were mandatory for survival in this world. He believed that we were substantially better than everybody else, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, sex, or social status. It was not a racist thing, it was more... ... middle of paper ... ...iful adults, and a grandfather as well. I ended up a champion for the same kind of people I used to mistreat; all in about 20 years. I am not proud of the way I was, and I do not blame anybody but myself. If not for that “life-altering” moment though, I may not ever had begun the change. That resonating sound of the slamming cell door will be with me for the rest of my life. I can still feel it pulsing through my body, keeping me on the right path, and focusing me on the goal. But that is not enough; without my god, my family and my friends for support, I never would have made it. If you take anything from my words so far, be sure it is this: Just because your childhood taught you to behave in a certain way, does NOT mean that you have to behave that way forever; it is completely up to you. With lots of work and support, anybody can change; I am living proof of that.

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