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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hoop Dreams: See you down, but when are you going to get up?

By Briana Booker

In life we all shoot hoops for our dreams, ambitions and passions. We hope with a little effort and luck we can achieve getting our life ball in the hoop. But sometimes, the ball will circle around the rim and not fall in the hoop. Three results can occur when this happens:

We give up. We have resentment. Or we try again.

Today, I was inspired by a man named Eddie Ellis. A man that ended up serving 15 years in Prison, but not coming out of Prison without a lesson learned. He chose to try again in life, and live a life to help not only himself, but his community.

Now, some people, going through  a system such as Prison would be bitter and revolt against society. I am not saying Ellis was happy to be in Prison. I am not saying he had no regrets, but I admire his ability to acknowledge that he was given a guide to choose to practice or not to practice certain principals in life so certain outcomes are less likely to occur. Ellis might not have chosen the best paths in his life, but he most certainly has learned and improved himself, through his pains and struggles.

We all have choices to make. And sometimes when we make the wrong choices we tend to grumble on those choices. We tend to regret.

I have regretted certain actions and words I have said in my life. I have regretted certain interactions I have allowed to enter my life, even when I was warned before-hand. I often use to question: What did I do wrong to make someone treat me badly? What did I do wrong to deserve a certain outcome?

But hearing how Ellis went from ex-con to motivational speaker really made me realize we all have challenges in our lives that make us who we are at present. I can not be ashamed of my past enough to hinder my future. I have to realize it is the past, I cannot change it but I can work for something better for my present and future. I can cherish what I work towards.

I see Ellis working to overcome his challenges has made his life more fulfilling. He let go of seeking revenge and allowed improvement to happen for himself. It made me want to do the same.

Often when I have been hurt by people, just because they wanted to hurt me( yes, I have had immature people say they wanted to hurt me, just to do it.), I have wanted revenge. I have wanted karma to catch up to those people. But I realized the fact I was hoping for that outcome to happen, really meant I needed to escape the negative environment that I was around. I was allowing those people to have too much power  and influence over me.

The choices we make in our own lives, always will effect someone else, some way or some how. It is best to realize that. It is best to live not just to gain pleasures for ourselves, but to give back to our communities.

Being so self-absorbed in ourselves, allows us to do more harm than good to both ourselves and those surrounding us. No matter what we think of the world and the people in the world, we are all inter-connected. It is not all about us.

Being introduce to Ellis today really touched my soul. It really inspired me to build on something solid as I transition to the next part of my life very soon... 'real adulthood.'

What decisions will I make now, that will affect someone later? Will I take a stand to do better? Will I grow, or will I simply change?

I want to grow. I want to inspire. I want to improve the world. I do not want to simply change.

What I always will remember about Ellis is that he mentioned everyone has a fight to fight. Systems do not reform you, you have to reform yourself.

 I can not make anyone be a better person. I can not make someone love me. I can simply make myself be a better woman. I can simply love myself( but not make it all about me). I can simply love.

I hope this post inspires others, just as it inspired me. Do not let wrong doings towards you or bad occurrences in your life, make your life. Find peace. Give back. Stay fierce. 

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