Gandhi once said,” I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”
Unfortunately, this community realized that this past week when it lost a young soul, 19-year old Christopher Gallegos who was stabbed at a graduation party in the early morning hours of June 7.
Now, I am nobody to talk. I’ve seen and done some things that go beyond the realm of what you might consider your average “law abiding citizen.” I have never and will never hide or deny that. Fortunately, though, I have been placed in a position to try to make somewhat of a difference and at least shine some light on a topic that needs as much attention as possible, not only here in San Benito, but across the nation as well.
To do that, let’s start by identifying what caused this horrible act and outcome in the first place.
If you ask me, it’s pretty simple: PRIDE
Now, nobody knows the exact details of what transpired that dreadful day, but rest assured this never would have happened if the boys who allegedly attacked Chris and his brother weren’t so “prideful.” Maybe it was out of revenge from a previous altercation, or maybe it was because they were upset about something the two brothers did. Regardless, the tragic event that unfolded could have been avoided all together and if something isn’t done now, this is just gonna lead to more tragedies.
Now, you can blame the parents, or underage drinking, or movies, or video games all day long, but in the end, the root of the problem lies with pride. Trust me, if anyone knows this it’s me.
Many times with young men, especially these days, we feel like “swallowing our pride” or “turning around and walking away” is not an option. And that’s why we as parents, teachers and as a whole community must find a way to instill that option in our youth as early as possible, before it’s too late, as in the case with young Christopher.
Heck, it took me over a decade before I realized, “Hey, this is just flat out stupid.”
And I don’t say that lightly at all. I genuinely mean that it was 100 percent stupid!
Bar fights, street brawls, you name it, I’ve seen it all and it was always something I could have just walked away from because in the end, the result was exactly like the way the cliche about violence goes, “It doesn’t solve anything.” In fact, it ALWAYS did the exact opposite.
But again, I have been fortunate enough to make something positive out of this, at least I like to think so.
Knowing where I was, and where I have landed, I think you might agree too.
Look, the bottom line is this: When your parents or teachers tell you to just “swallow your pride” or to just “turn around and walk away,” it’s never a bad idea to listen.
And while you debate in your head whether this advice is going to make you look like a “punk” or a “scaredy cat,” or whatever new word or phrase the kids are using these days, just remember the possible alternatives are nowhere near worth it. I can go down a seemingly never-ending list of friends who are either dead or in prison and all they had to do was “swallow their pride.”
It’s never too late to change your life or your options, trust me!