By: Jeff Hewitt
I recently watched a documentary on a group of young adults who traveled across North America. The film was shot thirty years ago, and documented a punk-rock band in the early years of their 30-year timeline in history. It was very refreshing to see the innocence demonstrated and the passion these young men had for the love of their music. They purchased an old-school bus and set out for Canada, and across the US. They were the first band of their kind to go on a North American tour. What struck me as interesting is these “kids,” didn’t have any help in planning, paying or executing this adventure. This is what inspires me; these young men had an idea and turned it into a reality, there weren’t any cell phones, credit cards or computers to aid their journey, just passion and a dream. The purpose was to go through North America and let themselves and their ideas be heard to show people they weren’t a bunch of mindless punks, that the stereotype that people had been fooled by wasn’t true. I think that’s what really gets to people is when they expect a person or group of people to act and behave a certain way and then the reality of what they really are and what they represent is the exact opposite.
Shortly after the film I went outside to fire up my barbeque. I observed a group of teenagers that were crowded around a very expensive car. I noticed that they were drinking and smoking. One was talking about how his parents were going to get him a fully furnished apartment in Beverly Hills because he just couldn’t bare to live with them anymore. He said to his friend, “They just won’t get off my case, I don’t know why they just wont let me smoke pot in the house! It’s so unfair!” Wow I thought to myself. To see a film about how these young men in this documentary had a dream and made it happen through hard work and intelligent thought to witnessing these spoiled teenagers talking about how they just wanted to smoke pot and drive their parents crazy. To top it off their parents answer was to get them an apartment in Beverly Hills to solve the problem.
Who’s to blame for this tragic comedy? Some might say it is the parent’s fault, or perhaps it’s the schools, or maybe its society because these kids live in an age of technology where everything is done for you. I think it pointless to blame anyone, for maybe the parents weren’t taught the skills to be good parents. Who’s to blame for that? Or maybe the schools are overcrowded and doing the best they can with what they have, maybe society has to develop the technology it needs to advance the human race to new places.
In moments like this I think it’s important to remember the things in ourselves we are grateful for. I’m grateful for my mother’s morals that told me to find my own way when I was 18, that she wasn’t going to support a pot smoking freeloader. Though I was working and already learning to be self-sufficient, it gave me the motivation to become a man in every sense of the word. If she hadn’t cut me loose, I might be 26 still living at mom’s or even worse she could have enabled me till I died of an overdose or murder. I am grateful for the passion and purpose I have found in sobriety. Like the punk rockers in the movie showed people they had a voice; that they weren’t mindless punks running around committing crimes and beating people up, I have shown my parents, my friends, the world, that people in the depths of addiction can recover from what has been called a hopeless state of mind and body and can go on to do great things, all it takes is a little gratitude, passion and purpose.