As a father, the most important thing for me is being able to steer my children in the right direction and give them some guidance. It is truly disheartening when your child has an “attitude” and thinks he knows better. It’s amazing how this whole cycle keeps repeating, as I remember my youth, but this is just a part of life.
Case in point, my 16-year-old son, Marcus, was in this rebellious cycle and would not listen to anything I had to say. I lectured him several times on improving his grades and himself, and the consequences he would face, but my angry thoughts became wasted energy as they just flowed from one ear to another.
I felt that I had failed as a parent. I let my son down. But eventually, I realized that I was just making things worse, for him and myself. So, I decided that I wanted to set a positive example for Marcus by living a life of gratitude and being thankful for everything in my life right now. I began to see things differently. A better attitude developed. The glass was half full for me! And my talks with Marcus were more productive, engaging, and with better understanding.
Things started to turn around for Marcus. He had a different look. A look of determination. His passion in life was in football, so he was now focused on making the team. And improving his grades along the way.I asked Marcus if I could record his thoughts on how he turned his life around. This is what he said:
Hi, my name is Marcus Block. And not too long ago, about a few months back, I’ve been failing and not doing anything with my life. Having lower than a 1.0 GPA, pretty much so far all my years of high school, and all I kept thinking was I’m probably just going to go to the army. So, I just stopped trying. But then I came closer to God and I became thankful for that. Because I met this guy who I wasn’t so sure from the beginning, because he was an ex-con convict that went to prison for gang violence. But I realized that he truly was a changed person. And so, hearing from him, I wanted to be just like him. And so we made a deal that if he would me train for football. Because football, that’s one of the things that I’ve always wanted to be. Maybe possible, the only thing I wanted to be when I grow up. I’ve always wanted to be an athlete at any sport, but I just couldn’t find the right sport. But I realized that I possible had talent in one, and it probably could be football, so I’ve always wanted to be a NFL star. And so I would usually run 530am-6:00am in the morning by myself. But one day I found this man, who claimed he was, um, respected by the fact that I was running this time in the morning and preparing myself even though it was like 5 months away before the actual spring practice. And um, he made a promise to me that he would help me train and show me his new techniques that are very effective if only I go to church and meet his family. Because he had a lot of, his family was full of athletes in football as well. And he even had a nephew that shared the same passion as me to go to college and play football. And so as we trained, I went to his church. And I went to bible study. And I learned from his family members that went there that they wanted to change their lives if they could go back to about my age. And I knew I had to stop this right away. So, I stepped up and knew what I had to do. I worked hard. I stayed up late at night if I didn’t finish all my homework. And I went to bed before 10pm, mostly every night. And um, right now, I’m trying out for football and hopefully have God closer to my life. I feel that God is closer to me now. I really hope I can make this team. Because I really believe and think that I have proved to him what I can do and hopefully he can return the favor back. So, I’m thankful that I met Raul, and his family. And I’m thankful, that I have my family that’s proud of me and I’m just thankful that I’m doing well in high school to help me succeed in life as well. If I could be an inspiration to another kid, I would tell them to stay clear of drugs, gangs all other sorts of criminal activity. But most importantly, never keep up your dreams, no matter what it takes. Believe in yourself and come closer to God and I promise he’ll see you through. I’ve tried weed and a few years back ago, and I really never wanted to ever try it ever again. Cause one, it was about an hour, and I didn’t remember anything that I did and it just felt wrong. Cause I made a promise to my lord God, that I wouldn’t do it. So I asked for forgiveness and I started going to church more often . But if I could go back, I would take that moment back.
So, today I am grateful to my son, Marcus Block, for stepping up the plate and taking life straight on. It’s not easy what Marcus did and I am so proud of him. The greatest lessons in life I have learned are from God and experience. Because life in itself is a lesson to be learned.