Tell the youth that whatever they heard about alcohol, sex and drugs is not entirely true. What am I talking about? How can I say that?
Loss, pregnancy, failure, sickness, death… These aren’t the worst of results of substance abuse. They are save for untimely death, they are probably the best things to happen to a substance abuser because when calamity strikes they stop and reflect for once.
Three things happen from the decision to abuse/use substance/ alcohol or engage in premarital sex.
- You learn to lie to yourself
- You learn to believe your own lies
- You learn to accept mediocrity, lower your standards, loose your values
I say learn because it is a continuous process, one that you never master and move on. Its a hamster wheel. I say these are the worst because you don’t notice them, when you do they are easy to ignore. Gradually, like the frog in the pot you never realise you are being cooked until its too late.
There is nothing like maximum standards. Standards are minimum acceptable conditions they can’t be lowered. When they are lowered they seize to be standards. Everyone has their own standards based on their potential. When you are an ‘A’ student ‘B’s become acceptable. A B for an A is failure, as long as it is below your potential, your standards consider it failure. When you don’t thrive to be the best you can be, you are failing yourself each day. No matter how much you justify it by looking at your peers (comparing yourself with people with different standards), your will back one day and regret the lies you told yourself.
The first decision to indulge is the worst, as it starts you on a journey. Goals and dreams become fantasies. The fantasies turn to birds and fly away. Soon you don’t remember what you wanted. Then you forget who you are. A man with no identity has nothing to stand for. Your mind slips into a timeless world. While everyone is working on their future, fighting for their values, while everyone is growing you are swimming in your high. Lost in the ocean with no sight of the shore. Drowning in your sleep.
Death is not the worst, its just the end of the flesh. Being lost is.
Some will justify it as a mistake. Peer pressure. But no one prepares you for this journey. No one tells you what to expect. Just don’t do it you are told. Its bad for you! Everyone tells of what to expect at the end but never in the beginning, that is why so many of our youths fall into this temptation and potential is lost.
Expect to feel good, but its only for a while. Expect a rollercoaster. Every up is followed by a terrible down. Is it worth it? no. Expect to be lost. Confused. Expect to justify everything. Expect to justify failure. Expect to start lying. Expect to be secretive. Expect to be lonely, even with people around you. Expect to loose your identity. Expect to wish so much and do nothing about your wishes.
Whatever circumstances around your expect them to stay the same. If you come from a broken home, you will still be in a broken home, high or sober. If you lost a loved one, being high won’t bring them back. These are harsh realities people use as an excuse to indulge, truth is they come alive even more when you get high. The emptiness never leaves you.
The rollercoaster stops one day, most of the time its stopped by the tragedies of life. And you look back, regret strikes. The voices in your head become louder. Loudest when you want to stop. A battle begins.
My challenge to the youth today is simple. Define yourself. Ask yourself who am I? What is it that you stand for? How do your characterise yourself? How do you want to be perceived? That person in your mind right now. That man, that woman you want to become, stand up for them! speak up for your values. Let your yes be a yes and your no be a no! If you don’t like it, if its against your values, speak up!
Tell the world who you are and don’t be intimidated. The enemy works on intimidation, if you cant stand up for what’s outside of you, what is inside will break you. Winning is a habit, practise winning everyday.
- Prophesy to yourself
- Have Faith
- Set your standards and stand up for what you believe
- Be a person of integrity.
- Never entertain evil in whatever form
These habits will keep your winning. Keep you strong.
For everything there is a season and a time. Enjoy your youth while you still have it. Be Young while you still can. Find yourself while you have the time. See a man that excels in his work, he will stand before Kings and not ordinary man. Desire to stand before Kings. Pursue excellence in everything you do.
This is the advice I wish I received. Words from a brother. Guidance from a father I never had.