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Several years ago, I found myself at a crossroads in my life. If not for a helping hand at just the right time, I might not be here to offer these words of advice and encouragement. I definitely fit the description of an “at risk” youngster.

I was an inner-city tough guy. That was my life, my culture. It defined me. I wasn’t worried about my future. Future? Ha! My future was today, tonight. Tomorrow was never a sure thing.

 

So what happened? How did I escape? Why am I now preaching against the life that once looked so “cool”? For this column, let’s just say a very special teacher saw something in me that I didn’t even see. He taught me the game of chess and with that simple act, he saved my life. I owe him so much and one way I’m paying him back is by living every day to save other young people who are in trouble or potentially stand to make poor decisions.

We are surrounded by so much pain and heartache. You can’t turn on the news without being faced with a litany of domestic violence, carjacking, robberies, and kidnappings. Violence is something that has always plagued this world. It is so important to learn that hostility gains you nothing in life. Peaceful compromises are the way to solve your dilemmas. Why is the world so angry? Perhaps we will never know the answer to that.

Using the game of chess, I founded an organization several years ago based upon a simple premise: Be someone, not something. Your actions speak louder than your words, and that is often forgotten. There is no reason in this world why two people cannot sit down with a game of chess or something similar and use their mind power to put hostility and sore feelings behind them. Use creativity and your mind in a unique way to solve your differences. Violence gets you nowhere but behind bars.

Taking someone else’s life is one of the most unholy sins a person can commit. Consider what that family has to go through and what yours will go through knowing that you did this. Did you see the recent story in Chicago? A beautiful young lady who had recently performed at President Obama‘s inauguration in Washington was shot and killed by gang members firing weapons indiscriminately. Think of the pain and heartbreak.

Remember this simple statement, “Brains before bullets, think it out, don’t shoot it out!” I teach this and my students are hearing me but I need to reach more young people than those I’m able to meet in my classes.

Everyday lives are taken for no reason at all or for something menial. No matter what it is, a gun is never the answer to solving your problems.

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article courtesy of BlackNews.com

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