One evening, I decided to walk around my neighborhood for some cardio. Since I live near a local high school, I thought why not just walk around their playground as I listen to the music in my mp3! What I learned that day opened my eyes wide and taught me so much I didn’t know! I thought writing about it might help me connect with others facing the same issues in their communities. Here is what happened.
Immediately after stepping into the playground that was beautifully covered with green grass, I saw two teenage boys (one looked 10 and the other 15). They both had skateboards and cans of soda. Without much ado, the older one approached me and asked me a question I never expected from him. I later came to realize that it was not a surprise to many but I was shocked! What did you just ask me young boy? Wait…
As I walked by them, the older boy walked towards me. I thought he was just being nice by not obeying the ‘Don’t talk to strangers’ rule but he had a different agenda! “Hey, do you have any cigarettes?”, He asked. Without even showing my surprise, I said NO. I told them that I didn’t smoke (because I didn’t smoke, and I still don’t)! What came to my mind a few seconds later was the question of why they smoked at that age. What went wrong? Who is responsible for that habit? I couldn’t get answers of course until later when I consulted with people who had been around longer than me.
There is one thing I think I understand and that is addiction. It is something that is hard to beat – be it from cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, other drugs and basically anything people overdo. People who do these things do not want to be judged and those who do not, might not fully understand how it feels to be in their shoes. The question is: where are we headed with teenagers smoking like chimneys and others drinking like fish? It is a sad reality that we must face as a community, a state, a nation, a continent and as a world!
Why is this a huge problem? It is an obvious health hazard and besides that, the list goes on and on. When I was told that some high schools have smoking designated areas here in the US, I was so surprised and yet I do not live under a rock. This is not an American problem, it is the whole world’s problem. We can either step in and try to reduce if not stop this habit or we will all lose! We can end this together. My advice to you is this: If you can do something in your community, do it and save the lives of your people. We do not have to wait for the federal government to help us. We are our own police.
I am going to stop here. See you next time and please, remember to subscribe to my blog if you like what you see. Also, leave comments, that is how I know what your thoughts are and it makes me feel inspired to do more! Thank You.
You can read my book My Life Sentences – A True Story for my views!