OPINION

Be an inspiration

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR

Inspiration can come from anywhere, but I think its best when you find it and the least expecting places. Earlier this week, I talked to a young man who attends LSU and just finished his third semester as a Marketing major. His name was Derek and you can read about him in the AMIkids Donaldsonville article.

Talking to Derek, never once did I think about the fact that I was talking to a person who was once considered a “troubled-youth.” His tone, confidence and intelligence in our conversation made me feel like I was talking to an adult well established in his career with the sky being his limit.

Derek told me how he grew up in a troubled neighborhood and became part of brotherhoods that society view to be gangs. He told me how his future was nearly thrown away because of his lack of respect towards authority. With his background, Derek found inspiration and changed his life for the better.

Listening to this young man tell me his story, I couldn’t help but reflect back over my life and examine the things I’ve overcome and those who helped me along the way. It’s people like Derek who will make a difference in this world. Because there was someone who gave him options to take a better path, Derek will be more apt to offer someone else similar or better opportunities when he is in a position to do so.

That’s how we change the world.

If we can start becoming an inspiration to just one person each, we can start a cycle that says, “someone did it for me, I will do it for you.” Think back on the people who told you to be that “Little Engine Who Could” and remember how you fought for your dreams and goals. Take those thoughts and use it as a fuel to ignite others to think of you in that way one day down the road.

If each of us can touch a life and change it for the better, we all win. Those same elements that helped me reach the success I’ve had, I want to instill in another: hard work, dedication and pride in producing great work and doing positive things. Wouldn’t it make our country that much stronger. Rather than watching young teens learn to count out dime bags of marijuana, help them learn how to put on a necktie.

Little things like such to young teens could be the difference they need to realize the greatest story to be told is of one gaining riches the legal way, the honest way. I’ve called my life “a journey for success,” and indeed that is what I’m on. But, I realize success can’t be reached until I’ve clearly defined what “success” means and I can’t do it without positive role models and influences in my life - can’t go to a foreign place without direction or a guide.

Blessings