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Peer-Pressure: It's Everywhere!
Peer pressure is not just for teen-agers.  The ugly face of peer-pressure will follow us
all to the grave, by those who want us to go in a different direction with our lives.  So,
set your goals for yourself, and don't let anyone get in your way to reaching your goals and your dreams.

One of the proudest things I've done in my lifetime is to stay away from drugs!  And, in the year 2006, I'm 61 years young, and I lived through the drug culture of the 1960's and survived.  A few years ago, I heard a band member of one of the top bands of the '60's say, "If you remember the 60's...you were not there!"

Well...to this dope head, I say...I was there in the 60's, and I remember most of what went on.  I wasn't all screwed up like him and like so many people were back then!  To this day, I have never seen a marijuana cigarette; LSD; yellows; reds; uppers; downers, etc.  Many people got involved in drugs, in my view, because of
peer-pressure
to a large degree.  Call me a square; call me a cube...call me a sissy...sticks and stones...but please don't call me late for dinner! 

* Self-Confidence:  For me, it all starts with self-confidence, which I think is one of the most important words in the dictionary.  I've been in the humor business most of my life, and because of this, I have never had a problem making friends, etc.  As soon as I make somebody laugh...I have a new friend.  But, in attracting people, I also attrack the mis-fits, and then I have to find a way to get rid of them!  The self-confidence I have in myself, gives me the opportunity to say NO to people I don't want around me.

* Drugs:  When I was in the Air Force (on our side), some of my friends got discharged before I did, and some of them went straight to the college life and the drug culture of the 1960's.  At that time, I had to decide if I would have them as friends, or if I would go my own way and find other friends, etc.  The decision was easy...I decided to find other friends and go my own way.  I wasn't looking for anybody to ruin my life!

* Alcohol:  Over the past decade or so, I have been laid off from SIX jobs, all for legitimate reasons, such as defense cuts; companies closing, etc.  So, I have had a lot of stress and depression in my life for a long time.  So, during this time, how was I going to repair the problem with my mental state?  Was the answer in a bottle?  Was the answer in drugs?  Was the answer in a cigarette?  I think not and I chose none of the above!  All of these things make matters worse!  So, I said NO to all of them, and I had to find the answers to my problems elsewhere.  Why would I want to ruin my life?

After my sixth job loss, I was down in the dumps, and I had fallen on hard times and needed help.  Because I'm a veteran, I learned about a program at the VA, which helps veterans get back on their feet.  I lived at the VA Medical Center, and there were 15 veterans, down on their luck, who lived there and were in the program.  The other 14 veterans were there because of substance abuse except me.  One day, during a general discussion (House meeting), I told the group that, when it came to alcohol, I had and still have my "one beer policy."  If I go to a function of any kind, I have one beer...and that's it!  I then switch to another drink like a soft drink or coffee or something else! 

That got me a little laugh around the table, but in real life, I was the one who got the last laugh!  My goodness there were raised eye-brows all around the table.  Boy, these guys must have thought I was weird!  A couple of them looked at me like I was a sissy...this was a rough crowd.  "Jerry, how can you drink only one beer," was the question.  "Discipline, confidence, and independent thinking," I answered.  I told the group that I know the dangers of alcohol and drugs...as I have two alcoholic brothers and one alcoholic sister, and between them, they've managed to ruin the whole family. 
A person doesn't have to be a rocket scientist, to see the news every day, and all across the nation, people get themselves in trouble because of alcohol and drug use.  Do I need alcohol or drugs to have fun?  NO!  Do I need a shot of "courage" to get out on the dance floor?  NO!  Do I need a shot of "courage to ask a lady to dance?  NO!  Are alcohol and drugs going to solve any of my problems...A BIG FAT NO!

Peer-pressure: There is peer-pressure, and then there is plain old fashion PRESSURE that we all know about, that comes from friends and family, etc.  Example: One of my friends in the Air Force, was having trouble with his family, because after he got discharged from the Air Force, one side of the family wanted him to go to law school and become a lawyer like all the rest of the family.  And, the other side of the family wanted him to stay with the family business which was the lumber business.  He wanted neither!  He wanted to go to school to become a biologist with the wildlife service or to be a park ranger and to work outdoors.  PRESSURE FROM THE FAMILY! 

I was a freshman in college when President Kennedy was killed.  And, I remember the cute little kids in the White House named John-John and Caroline.  All the Kennedys had gone to Harvard.  But, when John-John grew up, he chose to go to Brown Univeristy.  This showed me independent thinkingon his part, and he did not keep the tradition of going to Harvard.  But, there was pressure on him from his family to go to Harvard and he rejected it.  He went out and did what was best for him.  (As everyone knows, he died a few years ago in a plane crash)

One of the best movies I ever seen, was "Dead Poets Society," with Robin Williams.  The movie was set in the late 1950's, when America was naive, immuture, and needed to grow up!  We didn't do much independent thinking back then!  We all had to look like a bunch of penguins lumbering up the ice burg...clones of each other.  Robin Williams played the part of a school teacher, and he got fired from every job he had.  Why?  Because he went against the school administration rules, and taught his students to think independently.  That's what got him in trouble, and the school officials wanted all the students to be penguins.  We all had to look and think alike in the 50's. 

Later, in the 1960's, came the cry, "do your own thing," and that's what people do in the year 2006.  A man with a shaved head; a man with long hair; everybody dresses differently...do your own thing!  Back then, women were not allowed to wear pants to work or to school.  (naive thinking)  Today, women wear pants all the time, as it should be, if they choose to do so. 

I can only speak for myself, but I handle the issue of pressure with confidence in myself; independent thinking and discipline, which I think are curcial in staying on the right track.  Why?  Guess who's the most important person in the world...ME?  And, if I don't take care of myself...who's going to do it?
This is a family website
My articles published 200+ websites
"When you have to make a choice, and don't make it...that in itself is a choice."  William James
.Get inspired...get motivated...get going!
Copyright; Jerry Aragon; 2007
All Rights Reserved
To all the young people out there...STAY IN SCHOOL!
Jerry Aragon/The Humor Doctor           humordoctormd@gmail.com
Main Street/Front Page                         Free Stuff/Come see
Site Map/site contents                          The Creative Center
Writers Section                                     The Humor Clinic
The Funny Farm                                   Book: BumpyRoad of Life