I have many nephews as well as several young men that I mentor and speak with. I always tell them about the 3 doors. These are the 3 main doors that you can go through based on your actions. They are Jail, the grave or college/trade school. I’ve recently added on the fourth door which is the armed services.
When I was coming up as a teenager and young adult, my friends and I loved going to the clubs, running the streets and we would feel the need to protect ourselves if another posse tried to disrespect or jump/rob any of us. Some of my friends would get drunk or high and start beefing (instigating fights) with other crews. I would usually sense when things were going to jump off and get ugly and I would leave. They would call me all kinds of names and question my loyalty, but I would see them either riding by in the police car, or the club that we were at would be on the news that night showing people dead, shot or being put on ambulances in stretchers because gunshots had broke out.
Many of my friends entered the system when they were juveniles and were on probation. Some got locked up and others escalated their drug use to the point where they became addicts and didn’t even know that they were addicted. Some made more connections with drug dealers, pimps and house robbers which lead them to further trouble down the line.
So, your actions can lead you to jail, the graveyard or a great career that you can obtain by going to college, trade school or mastering entrepreneurship (developing your own business or legal hustle). It’s always good to have “That Paper” as my Grandmother used to always tell me. That paper is college degrees and certifications in particular fields. The way the game is played in the adult world is it’s either who you know or what degrees and experience you have or both that get you where you want to be.
We don’t always have the perfect connections in the field that we want to go into so having that degree or certification helps tremendously to get you in the door.
Some choose the armed forces. I think it’s a better choice than going to jail or the grave based on criminal actions. Many people have achieved great success from participating in the services while others have been I’ll affected physically or psychologically and others have been killed. It is a choice that you can consider. The main thing is to get off of the streets and focus on creating the best possible lifestyle for yourself and your family.
Which door do you choose?
Note: *Along with college/trade school one should always consider entrepreneurship. If you study certain fields/professions such as Law, Architect, Accounting, Hair Stylist, auto mechanic, psychologist, physical trainer, sports agent, Real Estate, Dentist, Doctor Etc… you can always have the opportunity to open up your own practice and work independently.
"From the book "You Got Next! Real Talk for the Hip Hop Generation"