I remember reading this book, Teen Ink in my school library a couple years ago and I wrote down this story from the book because it inspires me. I can’t believe I still have it up to today and I would like to share this story in my blog. So here goes…
When you’re a 12 year old boy sitting in a cell charged as an adult for first-degree murder, it feels like the whole world has turned against you.
James was given a fifteen-year sentence. Now at seventeen, he have been locked up for half a decade. During that time, he have looked back at his life and seen bad choices he made. He realize now the world wasn’t against him, but he was against himself. He was raised by a single, independent mother of seven children in a housing project. At the age of eight, James started selling drugs and roaming the streets with older guys. He was determined to provide his family with the necessities of life; food, clothing, and shelter, but there were times when they had nothing and even slept in cars.
Growing up without a positive male role model led James deeper into the tangles of violence. He looked up to the big-time drug dealers, admiring them for the cool things drug money gave them: cars, clothes, girls, and plenty of pocket change. As you can see, his priorities started changing and were definitely wrong.
With his mind set on satisfying his many needs, James was led to the streets. At first, his life seemed better, but in reality it was worst. He had already stopped going to school on a regular basis. When James went, he would be suspended for fighting. He also started getting into trouble with the law, racking up charges including assault, possession of a weapon, curfew violations, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and theft. The streets were making him smart, but at the same time they were making him very, very stupid.
James smoked weed and drank alcohol to take his mind off his family’s struggles. He often snorted cocaine to help him stay awake so he could make money. Although most of the money went to his family, they wasn’t everything James gained. Hanging with the older guys gave him the big brother or father/son relationship he had never had. James guess he was looking for the love in all the wrong places. This type of behavior continued until he was 12 years old, when he committed the biggest mistake of his life – and was charges with the first-degree murder.
Since James have been locked up, he have changed his life by doing something that he have never done before – setting positive goals and trying his hardest to accomplish them. Changing a negative life into a positive and productive one has not been easy, nor will it be easy in the future. James’ life has always been rough, but recently it has become a little smoother with just a few bumps. He plan to go college for a degree in business. He’d love to have a wife and a couple of children. James want to give them love and be a father figure his father never was for him.
The point of this story is to show that you can change, no matter where you come from or what you’ve been going through. It can happen if you really want it to. The road may be long and rough, and at times may seem like you are driving in circles, but you can change. You must be strong, have self-discipline, work hard and be willing to accept the consequences of your actions. James learned the hard way, but now he’s on the right track – where he is planning to stay. Keep in mind that no matter where you are in life or what difficulties you are experiencing, there are others who are in worst shape. You have the freedom to change your circumstances and situation. To make these changes, all you need is to remain focused, be dedicated to your cause and have the courage to try.
If you like the story above, there’s more stories like this in the book. Motivational books are good because they help us make the right decision in life and they make us think what’s right from wrong. God bless! =)