Those where his words, and I was shocked to hear them. How could he say he was not an addict? After all, we were there to help ‘them’ in the first place because, they had been labelled as “substance abuse victims”.
As shocked as I was to hear those words, the sincerity beneath them made me take a second look at the person who had just used them. Augustus looked pale and withdrawn, and I immediately felt a connection with him.
Upon probing further, I discovered that he had resorted to drugs and alcohol not because he wanted to, but because he thought he had no other way to express himself to society. Both of his parents had been addicts, and his father was still serving time in prison. Even though he found himself in the company of other young people who were using drugs like himself, deep within him, he wished that his life was better off.
Augustus became my top priority, and today he is well integrated back into society.
But I wanted to share some lessons I learned from mentoring this young man, and one that still inspires me, which I am hoping would inspire you.
- No matter the label you are tagged with by society, never give up on yourself. Augustus felt he had no other option than to do drugs, and even though society had labelled him an addict, he was convinced that he wasn’t. He was only waiting for the right opportunity to break out from that bondage, and when the opportunity presented itself, he made the best use of it.
- Be ready when opportunity presents itself. Many people are in constant search of finding satisfaction in their lives, but unfortunately are not ready to seize on those ‘opportunities’ when they present. Don’t be caught unawares. Have an open mind all the time, with the mentality that anything is possible.
- You do not know the full story, so don’t judge someone else based on the short sightedness of your vision. Sometimes, we are quick to judge a book by its cover, when we have not even gone as far as peeking inside. Everyone has a unique story, which may explain why they seem the way they are. Don’t give someone else a tag they weren’t born with, and be willing to make a difference in someone’s life, whenever you can.
To your continued success. Cheers!!!