A big problem in our community is that everyone wants to fit in and follow the crowd, even if that means doing things that are not positive.
For some reason, we have teens, and even some adults, who encourage violence because it is accepted by some. Our community makes it seem as if the people who are doing well for themselves and taking the steps to have a successful life are doing something wrong. But If you are causing trouble, you will be praised by most of the people in the neighborhood.
Girls think it’s a compliment to be called a “bad b….” and the guys use “savage” as a way to identify themselves. They allow themselves to be called those names because our community encourages it. Not only do I think it is demeaning, but it is also disrespectful. If someone were to call a teenage boy a hoodlum or trouble maker, they would get offended. However, being called a savage is a good thing?
I think in our neighborhood, many community members lower their standards to belong. We live in a community that if you are confident, you are labeled as stuck up. If you are outspoken, you are annoying. If you want to do something good for yourself, you think you are better than everyone else. If you buy something nice, you are showing off.
Everything we do is being watched, and, as we are being watched, we are being labeled. It is important to solve this problem because if we don’t, it will destroy our community. Everyone is going to start to believe that negative actions are good. If we do not stop this now, it is only going to get worse.
I think the best way to solve this is to not follow the crowd. I hope that if someone sees me or someone else doing something, that is going to help you do good in the future and follow our footsteps; after that, two more people follow their footsteps and so on.
We need to make sure the community knows it is okay to do good for yourself, it’s okay to go your own way. We need to start a revolution against our community. We need to make the people understand that what they are doing now, the decisions they are making, the ways they are identifying themselves are all negative.
The teens in our community should be proud to be confident, they should be able to work hard and buy themselves something nice. These are the things that should be getting praised. The boy who just got an ‘A’ on his test is not a nerd, he is a hard worker. The girl who decided to stay in and study instead of going out to a party is not a “lame,” she is driven.
I think we all need a lesson between what is good and what is bad, because there seems to be some confusion.
Go your own way, be a positive role model and break the cycle! Don’t follow the crowd. Be the leader who leads people to success. Despite what your community thinks, that is the right thing to do.