Losing Faith in a Bleak Wilderness of Faithlessness, Insincerity & Treachery


Lyrics of "Welcome to My Life" - Simple Plan
Lyrics of “Welcome to My Life” – Simple Plan
Lyrics of "Welcome to My Life" - Simple Plan
Lyrics of “Welcome to My Life” – Simple Plan

 

Welcome To My Life – Simple Plan

 

Do you ever feel like breaking down?
Do you ever feel out of place?
Like somehow you just don’t belong
and no one understands you

 

Do you ever wanna run away?

Do you lock yourself in your room?
With the radio on turned up so loud
That no one hears you screaming

No you don’t know what it’s like

Lyrics of "Welcome to My Life" - Simple Plan
Lyrics of “Welcome to My Life” – Simple Plan
Poster of movie - "Thirteen" (2003)
Poster of movie – “Thirteen” (2003)

When nothing feels all right
You don’t know what it’s like
To be like me

 

To be hurt
To feel lost
To be left out in the dark
To be kicked when you’re down
To feel like you’ve been pushed around
To be on the edge of breaking down
And no one’s there to save you
No you don’t know what it’s like
Welcome to my life

 

Do you wanna be somebody else?

Movie - "Thirteen" (2003)
Movie – “Thirteen” (2003)
Movie - "Thirteen" (2003)
Movie – “Thirteen” (2003)
Movie - "Thirteen" (2003)
Movie – “Thirteen” (2003)
Forms of Peer Pressure
Forms of Peer Pressure
Peer Pressure
Peer Pressure
Forms of Peer Pressure
Forms of Peer Pressure

Are you sick of feeling so left out?
Are you desperate to find something more?
Before your life is over
Are you stuck inside a world you hate?
Are you sick of everyone around?
With their big fake smiles and stupid lies
While deep inside you’re bleeding

 

No you don’t know what it’s like
When nothing feels all right
You don’t know what it’s like
To be like me

 

To be hurt
To feel lost
To be left out in the dark
To be kicked when you’re down
To feel like you’ve been pushed around
To be on the edge of breaking down
And no one’s there to save you
No you don’t know what it’s like
Welcome to my life

 

No one ever lied straight to your face
And no one ever stabbed you in the back
You might think I’m happy but I’m not gonna be okay
Everybody always gave you what you wanted
You never had to work it was always there
You don’t know what it’s like, what it’s like

 

To be hurt
To feel lost
To be left out in the dark
To be kicked when you’re down
To feel like you’ve been pushed around
To be on the edge of breaking down
And no one’s there to save you
No you don’t know what it’s like (what it’s like)

 

To be hurt
To feel lost
To be left out in the dark
To be kicked when you’re down
To feel like you’ve been pushed around
To be on the edge of breaking down
And no one’s there to save you
No you don’t know what it’s like
Welcome to my life
Welcome to my life
Welcome to my life.

————————————————

“Thirteen” (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Thirteen” is a 2003 American drama film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and written by Hardwicke and Nikki Reed, the film’s co-star. The film also stars Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood. It is a semi-autobiographical film inspired by Reed’s life at age 12 and 13 with Wood’s character “Tracy” being loosely based upon Reed. The script was written in six days.

The film caused controversy upon its release, because it dealt with topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, underage sexual behavior and self-harm.

Plot

Thirteen-year-old Tracy Freeland (Evan Rachel Wood) writes poetry and is an honor student at Portola Middle School in Los Angeles. Her divorced mother Melanie (Holly Hunter) is a recovering alcoholic and high school dropout, who struggles as a hairdresser to support Tracy and her older brother Mason (Brady Corbet). At school Tracy is teased by some girls about her “cabbage patch” clothes. Tracy tries to shed her ‘little girl’ image and pleads with her mother to purchase a trendier style of clothing. Melanie buys Tracy new clothes from a discount vendor in a parked van. Tracy is invited by Evie Zamora (Nikki Reed), one of the most popular girls at school, to go shopping on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Although Evie gives her a disconnected telephone number as a joke, Tracy takes a city bus to Melrose Avenue anyway, where she finds Evie and a friend at an edgy thrift shop. At the store, Tracy sees Evie and her friend shoplifting. Tracy begins to feel uncomfortable, and walks alone out of the store to sit on a bench outside.

Peer Pressure
Peer Pressure
Peer Pressure - learn to say, "NO!"
Peer Pressure – learn to say, “NO!”

She still wants to be part of what she thinks is the “in crowd”. She steals a woman’s pocketbook, which impresses Evie and her friend. The three go on a shopping spree with the stolen money. Tracy and Evie become best friends and Evie, having troubles at home, temporarily moves into the Freeland household. Tracy is angry about her parents’ divorce and cuts herself to cope with the stress. She taunts Melanie’s boyfriend, Brady (Jeremy Sisto), a recovering addict. Although Melanie is concerned about Tracy’s changes and Evie’s influence, she cannot find a way to intervene. Melanie doesn’t ask Evie to leave her household because of Evie’s claims of an abusive childhood. As Tracy steadily shuts Melanie out, she and Evie become very close, developing their own language. After the early thrills, Tracy finds her new activities add to her anxiety, including trying to emulate Evie’s seductive behavior. Tracy gets caught up in a sexual relationship with a teenage boy Javi, trying to think of it as a romance, but he uses her.

When Evie and Tracy try to seduce Luke (Kip Pardue), an adult lifeguard in his early twenties and friend of her brother Mason, Tracy feels uncomfortable. Drawn at first into their kisses and allowing them to partially strip him, Luke pushes them out of his house. He leaves the neighborhood. One night on the street in Hollywood, Mason and a friend make comments about the thong on a cute girl; he is shocked when he sees she is Tracy, with a belly ring also exposed. Tracy and Evie had gone to a movie with Melanie and Brady, but left to do other things. Later on, the girls take turns inhaling from a can of gas duster for computers and become so intoxicated that they laughingly hit

Peer Pressure - learn to say, "NO!"
Peer Pressure – learn to say, “NO!”
Peer Pressure - learn to say, "NO!"
Peer Pressure – learn to say, “NO!”

each other, drawing blood. Melanie is unaware of how deeply the girls have fallen into petty crime, drug abuse, and oral sex with teenage boys.

Melanie also hopes that Tracy will go live with her father, Travis, but she is unhappy at this thought. But much to Tracy’s dismay, Travis decides he wants to take custody of Mason instead, to give him a more stable environment away from Tracy. After being informed she may fail seventh

Peer Pressure - learn to say, "NO!"
Peer Pressure – learn to say, “NO!”

 

Peer Pressure - learn to say, "NO!"
Peer Pressure – learn to say, “NO!”

grade, Tracy comes home after school to find Evie, Brooke, and Melanie waiting for her. When the women confront Tracy about the girls’ drug use and stealing, Tracy blames Evie, who first tried to blame her. Convinced by Evie, Brooke says Tracy was the bad

Peer Pressure - learn to say, "NO!"
Peer Pressure – learn to say, “NO!”

 

Peer Pressure - learn to say, "NO!"
Peer Pressure – learn to say, “NO!”
When someone looks upset and you ask them how they are and they reply in a monosyllable, "fine," you can be absolutely sure that they are NOT.
When someone looks upset and you ask them how they are and they reply in a monosyllable, “fine,” you can be absolutely sure that they are NOT.

influence; she moves with Evie to Ojai to get away. Melanie stands up for her daughter. Brooke pulls Tracy’s sleeve up to show Melanie the cuts and scars on her daughter’s left arm. Both mother and daughter weep as Melanie kisses her daughter’s arm. Tracy tearfully pleads with Melanie to let go, but Melanie holds on tight. The two fall asleep on Tracy’s bed holding each other. The last scene shows her spinning alone on a park merry-go-round, and she screams.

————————————-

Peer Pressure

From: http://www.kidshelp.com.au

What is peer pressure?

If you are not sure where you are headed, you will most likely end up somewhere else.

Peer pressure is when someone influences your decisions around what you should or should not do. Someone you know may try to get you to do something you don’t want to do, or they may try to stop you from doing something that you really want to do. The reason that you may decide to change your mind and do what they say is because you may want to ‘fit in’ and be part of a group. Feeling part of a group is really important for everyone, so it is understandable that most people do feel pressured to go along with what other people are doing.

Have you ever wondered why they call it “peer pressure” and not “teen pressure”? The reality is that peer pressure occurs at every age regardless of whether you are at school, work or university, so learning how best to deal with it is really a learning skill you can use for the rest of your life.

While peer pressure is mostly viewed as negative, some peer pressure can be positive. 

So, how do you work out which peer pressure to ignore and which to embrace?

Cartoon  on Teen Peer Pressure
Cartoon on Teen Peer Pressure

 

When you commit the same mistake twice, it is no longer an error of judgement - it becomes a deliberate choice.
When you commit the same mistake twice, it is no longer an error of judgement – it becomes a deliberate choice.

Negative peer pressure

Negative peer pressure is the type of pressure that you may find yourself wanting to ignore because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Take a second to think about that statement. Can you think of any occasions recently when you have felt uncomfortable around certain people or social settings because you felt pressured to do something to please someone else in order to fit in or not stand out?

Street gangs, motorcycle gangs and prison gangs are powerful and often violent peer pressure groups.
Street gangs, motorcycle gangs and prison gangs are powerful and often violent peer pressure groups.

 

Street gangs, motorcycle gangs and prison gangs are powerful and often violent peer pressure groups.
Street gangs, motorcycle gangs and prison gangs are powerful and often violent peer pressure groups.

 

Street gangs, motorcycle gangs and prison gangs are powerful and often violent peer pressure groups.
Street gangs, motorcycle gangs and prison gangs are powerful and often violent peer pressure groups.

As you think about this, can you remember back to what sort of thoughts and ‘self-talk’ you were having at the time? Were you thinking something like “I don’t want to do this…” or “what if someone finds out…”

Can you remember the feelings you were having at the time? Were you feeling uncomfortable, maybe feeling sick in the stomach, sweaty, hot or shaky? Our bodies are designed to tell us when something negative or dangerous is happening to us and sometimes it is the physical symptoms that we feel first before we notice the thinking or self-talk happening.

Thoughts and feelings that make our bodies react are signs that what you are feeling pressured to do is not healthy for you. In the long run the actions you are thinking about doing or not doing that you know are the wrong actions to take don’t make you feel good about yourself at all. In fact, you can end up feeling guilty and disappointed with yourself.

Some of the common pressures, teens and young adults talk to Kids Helpline about are:

  • Pressure to try drugs, alcohol or cigarettes
  • Pressure to have sex, either by a partner or friends
  • Stealing or shoplifting

    Street gangs, motorcycle gangs and prison gangs are powerful and often violent peer pressure groups.
    Street gangs, motorcycle gangs and prison gangs are powerful and often violent peer pressure groups.
  • Illegal actions such as speeding or driving unlicensed
  • Cheating on tests, copying assignments or letting others copy your work
  • Ditching school for the day to do something else with friends
  • Pressure to dress a certain way that doesn’t feel comfortable
  • Pressure to not be friends with certain people or to ignore or not include certain people in social situations.

Positive or helpful peer pressure:

On the other hand, there is positive peer pressure. For example, things like being encouraged by friends to do well in sport or school. Other forms of positive peer pressure may be:

  • Encouragement to stop smoking
  • Pressure to stop any illegal activity such as underage drinking or drug taking
    The Mafia/Underworld of gangsters and gang warfare.
    The Mafia/Underworld of gangsters and gang warfare.

     

  • The Mafia Family Tree
    The Mafia Family Tree

    Friends supporting you to stop any activity that might be damaging your health or well-being such as bad eating habits or unhealthy relationships

  • Encouraging you to try new things that are of interest to you
  • The difference between negative and positive peer pressure is how it makes you feel and the intention behind your friends’ pressure or encouragement. From the above examples, it may feel uncomfortable if your friends are encouraging you to stop smoking but on some level, you may feel that you probably should stop because of all of the health risks. The common theme with positive peer pressure is that the pressure is designed to assist you to feel better, healthier or happier. Negative peer pressure on the other hand, can make you feel the opposite; unhappy, unwell or uncomfortable.

How to handle negative peer pressure:

This is not an easy thing to do because as the name applies it can be your friends who are pressuring you and generally everyone likes their friends and wants to be around them. So how do you stand up to the pressure from friends?

  • Sometimes, using humor is a good strategy. Some people are really good at deflecting attention from themselves or their actions by using humor. Have you noticed those people? A quick witted one liner can take the pressure off the current conversation without offending anyone.
  • Having a direct conversation with the person or people who you feel are pressuring you is another way to stop peer pressure. To do this effectively it is good to have some idea of what you want to say, choose the right time and place to say it and speak honestly by letting your friends know how much their actions are affecting you.
  • Seeking support. Getting help from others, whether they be friends, family or a teacher, school counselor or a counselor at Kids Helpline. Sometimes
    The violent world of the Mafia and the Underworld.
    The violent world of the Mafia and the Underworld.

     

    The world of criminals and violent crime - the world of the mafia dons.
    The world of criminals and violent crime – the world of the mafia dons.

     

    Map of Mexican Drug Cartels
    Map of Mexican Drug Cartels

    , just talking about it can start to make a difference. With support, you can begin to not feel so alone with the problem and talk through some useful strategies that will work for your individual situation.

  • Be true to yourself. Being aware of your values can help you to stand up for what you believe in and can limit the effect other people have on your actions and beliefs. Learning more about your values and being true to your values and beliefs is something that you continue to develop over your life, so starting to identify these things now can be a great help as you get older.
———————————————————————

Eleven Facts about Gangs:

From: http://www.dosomethi

ng.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-gangs

Seizure of illegal, sophisticated weapons from drug cartels.
Seizure of illegal, sophisticated weapons from drug cartels.

  1. A gang is a group of people who claim a territory and use it to make money through illegal activities (i.e. drug trafficking).
  2. Gangs can be organized based upon race, ethnicity, territory, or money-making activities, and are generally made up of
    The notorious prison gangs.
    The notorious prison gangs.

    members ages 8 to 22.

  3. Members of gangs wear specific articles of clothing to be recognized as part of the group such as bandanas, hats, scarves of certain colors, or gang-related tattoos or symbols.
  4. Gangs are one of the leading factors for growth of violent crimes both on and off school property.
  5. When joining a gang, often times there is an initiation that needs to be passed. This initiation is usually a violent crime that could include theft, murder, gang-rape, or drive-by shootings.
  6. Gang members are more likely to be arrested or involved with drugs and alcohol than non-gang members.
  7. 86 percent of U.S. cities with a population of 100,000 or more report gang activity.
  8. According to the FBI there are 33,000 violent street, motorcycle, and prison gangs active in the U.S., with more than 1.4 million members (a 40 percent increase from 2009).
  9. In recent years, gangs are participating in more non-traditional crimes such as prostitution, alien smuggling, and human trafficking, as well as white-collar crimes like counterfeiting, identity theft, and mortgage fraud. These new, non-traditional crimes create higher profitability and lower visibility.
  10. California, New Mexico, Nevada, Illinois, and Idaho have the highest concentration of gang members, with more than 6,000 per state.
  11. Neighborhood-based gangs pose the highest rate of significant threat for violent crimes in the U.S, versus national-level street gangs, prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
    The notorious prison gangs.counterfeiting, identity theft, and mortgage fraud. These new, non-traditional crimes create higher profitability and lower visibility

Terms You Should Know about Gangs:

Bloods

Black street gang originated in Los Angeles in the summer of 1972. Gang color is red.

Blood-In Initiation

Initiated member must shed someone’s blood, which may include murder.

Blood Out

Member’s blood spilled to get out of gang.

Blood-In Blood-Out

Also known as a Mexican Mafia motto, it is a requirement to join some gang. In order to join, you must kill someone. Your death (natural or by being killed) is the only way out of the gang.

Crips

One of the biggest and most violent black street gangs in the United States originating in Los Angeles in 1969. Gang color is blue.

"Birds of a feather flock together."
“Birds of a feather flock together.”

Five Percenters

A group founded in Harlem in 1964 that teaches that man is their own God.

Flag

Gang colors

G

Slang for “gangster” – for members of the Five Percenters, letter “G” represents a belief that 5 Percenters are God.

Graffiti

Signs, symbols, writings defining a gang’s

Resist Peer pressure accurately.
Resist Peer pressure accurately.

 

Forever be true to yourself!
Forever be true to yourself!

neighborhood, turf, or territory.

Set

Neighborhood gangs; term used for a gang by members of street gangs. Many sets are loyal to the Bloods, Crips, or People or Folks Nations.

Zip gun

Home-made pistol.

Source:
Gangs or Us

—————————————————————————–

 

The Continuing Gang Threat
Latest Assessment Released

From: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011/october/gangs_102011

10/21/11

Gangs are expanding, evolving, and posing an increasing threat to U.S. communities.

That’s the bottom line of the just-released 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, and it probably doesn’t come as a great surprise to anyone who follows the news or is active in their community.

This latest assessment—prepared by the National Gang Intelligence Center—builds on the gang-related trends and criminal threats identified in the 2009 assessment. The findings in the 2011 report are based on data from federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and corrections agencies as well as open source information.

 

The key findings from the 2011 assessment:

  • There are an estimated 1.4 million active street, prison, and outlaw motorcycle gan
    Saying "yes" to happiness is as important as saying "no" to what one considers as being wrong and unlawful.
    Saying “yes” to happiness is as important as saying “no” to what one considers as being wrong and unlawful.

    g members in more than 33,000 gangs operating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. (Those numbers reflect an increase from 2009 figures, due primarily to more comprehensive reporting from law enforcement and enhanced gang recruiting efforts.)

  • Gangs are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions and up to 90 percent in several others.
  • Gangs are increasingly engaging in non-traditional gang-related crimes like alien smuggling, human trafficking, and prostitution, as well as white-collar crimes like counterfeiting, identity theft, and mortgage fraud…primarily due to the high profitability and much lower visibility and risk of detection and punishment than drug and weapons trafficking.
  • Gang members are acquiring high-powered, military-style weapons and equipment, which poses a significant threat because of the potential to engage in lethal encounters with law enforcement and citizens alike.
  • Gangs are becoming increasingly adaptable and sophisticated, employing new and advanced technology—including social networking websites—to carry out criminal activity discreetly and connect with other gang members, criminal organizations, and potential recruits around the country and around the world.

 

Gang growth: Law enforcement officials nationwide have reported an expansion of African, Asian, Eurasian, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern gangs. The so-called Sureno gangs—Mexican-American street gangs that originated in the barrios of Southern California—are also expanding, and faster than other national-level gangs, both geographically and in terms of membership. Those gangs include Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), 18th Street, and Florencia 13.

Law enforcement agencies also noted the growing problem of hybrid gangs—non-traditional gangs with multiple affiliations that are present in at least 25 states. Because of their multiple affiliations, as well as different ethnicities, migratory nature, and nebulous structure, hybrid gangs are tough for law enforcement to identify and target.

Gangs along the border. Along the Southwest border, U.S.-based gangs assist in the smuggling of drugs, arms, and illegal immigrants and serve as enforcers for Mexican drug trafficking organizations’ interests on the U.S. side of the border. Gangs also pose a growing problem for law enforcement along the U.S.-Canada border—smuggling drugs, cigarettes, firearms, and immigrants.

Law enforcement response. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies—working with international partners as appropriate—remain committed to disrupting and dismantling illegal gang activities through intelligence-driven investigations. The FBI’s 168 violent crime “Safe Streets” task forces around the country are a prime example of law enforcement cooperation at its best—during the past 10 years, task force investigations have resulted in convictions of more than 23,000 gang members, associates, and other criminals.

Resources:
– 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment
– Press release
– FBI, This Week podcast
– More on FBI anti-gang efforts

————————————————-

Drug cartels

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Drug cartels are criminal organizations developed with the primary purpose of promoting and controlling drug trafficking operations. They range from loosely managed agreements among various drug traffickers to formalized commercial enterprises. The term was applied when the largest trafficking organizations reached an agreement to coordinate the production and distribution of cocaine. Since that agreement was broken up, drug cartels are no longer actually cartels, but the term stuck and it is now popularly used to refer to any criminal narcotics related organization, such as those in GuatemalaHondurasEl SalvadorJamaicaTrinidad and TobagoSouth KoreaDominican RepublicMexicoJapan,ItalyUnited StatesColombiaRussiaBrazilArgentinaPeruBoliviaParaguayAfghanistan and Pakistan.

Below is the basic structure of the drug cartels in Mexico:

  • Falcons (Halcones): Considered the “eyes and ears” of the streets, the ‘falcons’ are the lowest rank in any drug cartel. They are responsible for supervising and reporting the activities of the military and their rival groups.
  • Hitmen (Sicarios): The armed group within the drug cartel that are responsible for carrying out assassinations, kidnappings, thefts, extortions, operating protection rackets, and defending their ‘plaza’ from rival groups and the military.
  • Lieutenants (Lugartenientes): The second highest position in the drug cartel organization that is responsible for supervising the hitmen and falcons within their own territory. They are allowed to carry out low-profile executions without permission from their bosses.
  • Drug lords (Capos): The highest position in any drug cartel that are responsible for supervising the entire drug industry, appointing territorial leaders, making alliances, and planning high-profile executions.

It is worth noting that there are other operating groups within the drug cartels. For example, the drug producers and suppliers,although not considered in the basic structure, are critical operators of any drug cartel, along with the financers and money launderers. In addition, the arms suppliers operate in a completely different circle, and are technically not considered part of the cartel’s logistics.

 

——————————————————————————————-

 

Few people realize the immense impact that “peer pressure” tends to have on their own lives and on those who share their lives with people who live under its direct influence. “Peer Pressure” is not just associated with teenagers and adolescents – rather, it is a very wide concept covering every possible age group, in any and every sphere and context of life. This influence has been around since times immemorial and it continues to wage a huge influence on the world and its global population till contemporary times.

 

Sadder is the fact that still fewer people realize that the people with whom they keep regular company CAN and WILL affect their lives, one way or another – either positively or negatively. THE REALITY IS THAT THIS INFLUENCE IS OFTEN VASTLY NEGATIVE AND MALEFICENT IN ITS VERY INCEPTION – IT TENDS TO SERVE NO GOOD PURPOSE, IN THE LONG RUN. AS A COLLECTIVE CONCEPT, IT IS A MEANS USED CUNNINGLY BY INDIVIDUALS WHO SECRETLY USE THE GROUP’S COLLECTIVE NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR TO FUEL THEIR OWN HIDDEN AGENDAS AND ULTERIOR MOTIVES. SUCH HARMFUL AND DANGEROUS ACTIVITIES HAVE LED TO AN ALARMING RISE IN CRIME RATES ALL OVER THE WORLD; IT HAS BEEN A PHENOMENON THAT HAS EFFECTIVELY “AIDED AND ABETTED” A TREMENDOUS INCREASE IN JUVENILE DELINQUENCY AND CRIMES COMMITTED BY TEENAGERS. THE INCREASE IN ALL MANNER OF CRIME AND VIOLENCE, IN TODAY’S DAY AND AGE, IS PHENOMENAL BECAUSE OF THIS INTENSELY NEGATIVE FORM OF PEER PRESSURE.

 

Most people use the excuse of “peer pressure” to appease their own guilty consciences – they “rationalize” and “justify” erratic, irresponsible, callous, selfish, egoistic, narcissistic, illegal, violent and cruel behavior by stating (inwardly or outwardly) that such activities are done “collectively, as a group.” Hence, they feel that all blame and fault ought to go to the group, as a whole. People – as individuals – no longer care about values, morality, integrity, maturity, responsibility and accountability in the larger scheme of things – that is how all (or most) of our problems have arisen.

 

Whatever way you choose to look at the situation at hand, it is a matter of truth that is becoming far more worrying than you could ever imagine. People who indulge in any form of negative behavior, due to intense pressure from their peers (friends, colleagues, etc) need to realize – HERE AND NOW – that severe punishment is in store for them – it is only a matter of time before it makes itself known. Be sure of that.

 

REALLY, HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO SAY, “NO” TO SOMEONE, EVEN A ‘CLOSE FRIEND’? Why would you consciously chose to do something that makes you inwardly feel intensely uncomfortable with, fearful about and that basically causes you much emotional trauma? Why would you willfully and knowingly commit acts that will inevitably bring feelings of immense shame, guilt and regret in their wake? TELL ME WHY??? Why is it so important to you?

 

Why do you want the people around you to assume that you are their doormat and “yes –man” to ‘any and every’ suggestion as to how YOU should lead YOUR life? It does not speak much of your self-respect, if you allow such people to “ride rough-shod” over you – be sure of that. Since when did you start feeling that you needed OTHER people to make your own decisions for you? Why would you feel forced and pressured into doing something that goes against your “entire moral fiber,” against your upbringing, against your religion and against your set of values and principles? A true and sincere friend NEVER expects you to BEND your morality for anyone or anything – these friends would be horrified to see you COMPROMISE on all that you hold dear and true in this world, just to suit the collective immorality of the group, at large. Why then, would you continue wanting to be someone’s “yes-man” – in short, why would you, honestly want to demean yourself as their slave – as their “malleable mannequin” for them to contort into whatever shape, size or form that suits their ulterior motives? TELL ME, WHY WOULD YOU DO IT AT ALL???

 

Why does it matter so much to YOU that you should gain the acceptance and “love” of such a group who have traitorous thoughts of betrayal lurking at the back of their minds, at the first sign of trouble? WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? WHY BOTHER AT ALL WITH SUCH FAITHLESS PEOPLE?

 

The advice that I now pass on to you comes from my very own personal experience. I realized, over a period of time, that I was receiving insults and “brickbats” from certain people – posing as my ‘close friends’ – this being the case of WHETHER OR NOT I ACCEPTED AND AGREED to all their wishes and express demands. So, I decided that it is a matter of honor (for me) and a matter of my own self-respect to follow the dictates of my own conscience and my character and my personality, rather than blindly continuing to do what I knew to be inherently, “WRONG.” THAT WAS THE DAY THAT I LEARNED TO ACTIVELY SAY, “NO” and I can assure you that I personally celebrate – to this day – the occurrence of such a day when my sense of honor allowed me to assert myself for ALL that I believed was true and right. Follow this simple advice of mine – it takes  great courage only the first time around to say, “NO” – it gets much easier as you continue such a practice. You will not live to rue such a day, I can assure you!

 

Whether or not you chose to accept this fact – it has remained true in the yesteryear; it continues to stay true to this very day and will continue to stay true many years into the future: CONSCIOUSLY OR UNCONSCIOUSLY, YOU BECOME LIKE THE PEOPLE WHO YOU ARE REGULARLY AND IN CLOSEST CONTACT WITH. This “peer influence” might very well be positive, good and beneficial to your mental and spiritual growth, on the whole – imbibe such an influence well and embrace it thoroughly. Good for you, is what I can truly say!!!

 

However, if you feel that you feel that you are losing your identity; if you feel that you are losing your sense of self-worth; if you feel that you are losing your beliefs, your religion and your faith itself, then it is time to move on. LEARN TO LIBERATE YOUR SOUL FROM INFLUENCES AND PRESSURES THAT ONLY SERVE TO SUFFOCATE YOU. MOVE ON. LIFE GOES ON – WATCH YOURSELF GROW HAPPIER, MORE CHEERFUL AND CONFIDENT AS EACH DAY PASSES BY.

 

For most people, such a move is long-overdue – waste no more time in procrastination. Start shaping your life constructively so that “a Better Tomorrow” becomes OUR reality, especially in a world that has gone crazy and continues to grow crazier by the minute. Need I say more?

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