I saw this query on my wall. It’s a little pathetic that I have given it the serious thought and consideration that I have. But what can I say? I have. While I can only imagine your frustration of living in a bubble, I am going to offer my opinion for an answer.
You asked a legitimate question. How can you smoking weed possibly affect me? Our actions are our own, right? The consequences of our activities should only be confined to our own selves. Our paths will never cross so there is no logical way you could ever affect me. This is where I respectfully disagree.
I won’t waste your time by repeating the often quoted statement that goes something like this: for every dollar spent on prevention society (that would be me) saves seven (SAMHSA).
I will only mention briefly this little piece of information found at Crime in America website:
“Studies have shown the annual cost of substance abuse to the Nation to be $510.8 billion in 1999 (Harwood, 2000). More specifically,
• Alcohol abuse cost the Nation $191.6 billion;
• Tobacco use cost the Nation $167.8 billion;
• Drug abuse cost the Nation $151.4 billion.”
And don’t get me started on how many drug offenders my tax dollars support in prison.
At this point, you’re probably saying, “Blah, blah, blah. That ain’t me.” You’re right. That isn’t you. Yet. At your age, the future is not something you are prone to think about. Let me break it down for you and tell you how your actions affect me today.
To be honest, I think I’ve only heard two of your songs. But due to the media uproar you are in the midst of, I have heard a lot about you. If one of the girls in my youth group didn’t like your status I would have never have seen your post on Facebook. That is how our paths crossed. And that is how your boneheaded actions – complete with your insolent statement – affect me.
At this time in your life you probably honestly believe that each person is an independent entity. Perhaps you view life as a competitive race. A competition viewed as a solo marathon pitting us against our neighbor. The motto of the rebel: to each his own and the survival of the fittest. That is the foible of youth.
As you get older, you will hopefully realize the secret. Us humans? We are not as independent as you might think. In reality, we are quite symbiotic. I don’t expect you to comprehend what I mean. You will when you become a parent though. At least, I hope you do.
I’m trying to help my girls see their potential in life. To let them know they have the power to succeed and achieve great things in life. They don’t need to be distracted or sidelined with the temptations of drug use. Because let’s face it, drug use can sideline a person’s potential so effectively that more often than not it leaves them a wasteland of empty dreams. I genuinely and sincerely care about each of my girls’ well-being and since I’ve been around longer, I know a few things that will bring happiness. I also know a few things that will lay out a rough road for them. It is my sincerest hope they embrace the former and avoid the latter.
As a leader of youth, I teach my girls they have potential. They have the ability to succeed. My fellow leaders and I want all of our youth to grow up to be well adjusted happy adults. We want them to realize they have a whole fan section cheering them on and that they are never alone. I want them to realize their actions bring consequences. And yes, their actions do not just affect them. Hardly ever.
To have somebody in your corner, cheering for you is something I hope you can experience. Aside from the riches or the prestige you can offer that person in return. Just to have someone rooting for you as a human and hoping you become a good person. Someone to invest in the person you will become. That is what I wish for you.
Your statement of defiance is posed as a question. How can the actions of one person affect another? Who knows? Maybe they shouldn’t. But the reality is that they do. Especially for somebody in your position who is being watched so closely.
In short, your actions affect me when you set a lousy example. They affect me further when you refuse to accept the consequence of your actions and you utter a statement of defiance. A statement that makes me cringe because one of my girls liked it. I do not want her to follow the lonely, apparently angry road you’re traveling. My hope is for her to be a well-adjusted person. And that is my final answer.