Perry Evan Lao (H3B)
Posted Tuesday, 05-Dec-2006 2:11 PM
This is a reflection written as part of the 2nd quarter requirements for Christian Life Education (CLE). The students were instructed to write a letter to themselves when they were ten years old regarding the challenges they are facing now. The following is published with permission from the student.
- Fr. Guy Guibelondo, S.J., CLE teacher and Campus Minister
How are you doing? I know life’s a bit stressful sometimes and it is inevitable for it to be this way. I know you are dealing with a lot of things like school, friends, sports and family. But, let me tell you one thing, life can get more complicated than that.
I’m sixteen right now, a junior in high school. I too am part of the varsity, and like you, I am struggling to keep my grades high but then I’m not the type who would fail any subject. Life, in general has been quite stressful in the past few months. I’ve been working day in and day out just to get all my requirements in on time. Then, there are practices which I have to attend or else I’ll be kicked out of the team. On top of all that, hanging out with friends also takes up the time that I have. I’m not saying that I regret anything that I do but it’s just that I get tired from the things that I do.
Anyway, what I want to tell you is what has been happening with me this year. I’ve got to tell you that the biggest moral challenge that I am facing right now is either to go with the flow and be “cool” or to break away from the conventional idea of being “cool." Kids your age are probably thinking that doing things that aren’t allowed like smoking, drinking or simply breaking rules is cool, but as I grow up, I’ve come to realize that these things are not at all cool.
Smoking is not cool. To tell you the truth, smoking is one of the worst things you can do. It kills you and dying at an early age because of the want to become “cool” is not at all cool. Heavy drinking when you are young isn’t cool either. They may look cool because this is what older people do. But didn’t you realize that rules were made for a reason? They’re there because they are believed to be for the best of everyone. To be cool, is not about doing things that people think you won’t do rather it is about how you are as a person. To be cool, you need to be confident in yourself, it is all about how you interact with other people, and that is all there is to it. No need to do crazy stuff to be cool, all you have to do is to trust in yourself that you are cool.
The basic problem of my life today is in choosing whether I should do what people think is cool, going with the flow, or breaking out from that stereotyped bubble of coolness. Going with the flow means smoking because all the other cool kids smoke or drink because all the other cool kids drink. Going against the flow would probably mean not smoking and drinking just because people are doing it. Then, the thing about this is that when you go with the flow, you are sure that you are accepted within the group because you are one with them but at the same time you harm yourself. On the other hand, if you go against the flow, there is an off chance that you may be rejected because you don’t do the “in” thing.
When I will choose to go with the flow, I basically break my own moral principles. I personally believe that smoking and drinking is not at all good for me and I too believe that you are not cool just because you smoke or drink. Knowing that I know what is good for me would mean that if I am not able to live up to my personal beliefs then I am not able to live the life I want. However, it would be so simple if that were only the case. The reason that I have to choose is because of fear. I fear that if I don’t go with the flow, I am rejected. This fear is what is holding me back from choosing what I personally believe is right.
This has been a long issue of mine and ever since I knew how to think properly for myself. I’ve always chosen to break from that stereotyped bubble of coolness. I’ve always thought that if I am not cool just because I don’t drink or smoke, then maybe I have been hanging out with the wrong people.
I believe that I am choosing the right path for me because if you choose to smoke and drink to be “cool” you are ruining your life. One may say that nothing bad happens when you smoke or drink but in the long term, it’s going to bring you to your grave. So, the fact that I choose the “right” thing over the “wrong” thing is enough for me to believe that I indeed am following the moral values that I have for myself.
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