The Pen Project Volume 1 Issue 2 - Page 26

a letter to youth by Eric McIntyre “If you do what is easy now, life will be hard later; if you do what is hard now, life will be easy later.” It’s tempting to take all of the shortcuts and do whatever it is that you want to, however you want to do it, and whenever you want to do it. But that costs you something down the line that you wouldn’t be willing to pay, had you know up front. It’s easy to sleep with all the women you want to, but it’s hard having five different baby mamas, or catching an STD, or living with HIV. As a teen and young adult, if you don’t put forth your best efforts now, to get as much education as you can and to set yourself up right, then later you’ll be struggling just to stay afloat or even getting established in the first place. It is so worth putting in the hard work now, so that later you can have enough time to do what you want to do in life, or have what you want to have. Right now is not forever… later is! I wish someone had told me that if I spent my teens and early 20s doing what is hard, that mid-20s through my 60s would be easy. Take a look at your idols or people in their profession (legal or illegal). What are they doing at the age of 40, 50, or 60? There’s a reason why you don’t see older drug-dealers on the block, and it isn’t because they’re in a mansion. Most of us are dead or in prison with lengthy sentences. Your peers may pressure you to do one thing, but they have the same point of view as you do. In essence, they’re like young lions in high grass running towards a cliff, with you in tow. As lions they don’t listen to ‘say giraffes,’ because they aren’t cool or potential kings of the jungle. But the giraffes can see further than the lions (you) can in that high grass, avoiding the cliff of disaster… So take it from me, a mouth of a mature lion who is laying on a tree branch high above the savanna. You’re running full speed after a gazelle, something attractive in your eyes that’s leading you off a hundred-foot cliff of disaster. Will you survive the fall? Possibly, but why? At best you will live injured when you could have just turned around. So, find a better way to take care of yourself and your family. You can make the hard decisions now or later. But while you’re young, the heavy-lifting isn’t so heavy. Sacrifice now and succeed later. Succeed now and you’ll sacrifice later. Choose wisely! 26