I came from a notorious gangster school | Our past does not define our life path

I made a video to share that our childhood, environment or upbringing does not define who we are going to be in future. We should never blame our failures and shortcomings on our circumstances. If anything, the unfavourable conditions can serve as a motivation and catalyst to work towards personal growth:

I was posted to a high school that no sane parents would not their kid to go to as the school was notorious for gangs and kids that do not complete their high school. At first my mom wanted to change but I told her I wanted to go to a new school to start all over as I had faced a lot of discrimination during my elementary school from teachers- that was why I got posted to this high school even though I scored straight As where most students were posted to better schools in our district.

Half of my classmates had connection with the gangs outside, mostly came from broken, neglected and/or poor families. So no one judged. I felt a strong sense of belonging in the school and I was able to study with reasonable grades, even though with my ADHD I had to work much harder compared to other kids.

About a few years in, the government brought in a fearless lady to be our headmistress to hopefully turn the school around where all the other principals had failed. She was nicknamed the Iron Lady due to her fearless and determined nature. She cracked down the gangsters – essentially many were managed by external gangs. And she got dead threats sprayed via grafitti on the school walls, her car tyres slit and scratched, and when she still continued, they burned the school office down. Basically, they went too far. That was when the police really got involved and with time, the gangs were under control.

In the school I’ve learned that gangs have their own principles and ethics- like loyalty, determination and sticking to their word. You just gotta learn to respect their boundaries. They do not just go round harrassing kids that were not related to them so like kids walking back from school don’t get robbed. In fact, it is kinda safe from other petty thieves because of these gangs loitering around.

On the other hand, my brother went to what was considered an elite and good high school. But everyday for few years, he had to fight off bullies and be on his guard. The bullies were mainly well off kids who were either spoilt, neglected and left to their own devices as their rich parents were too busy and preoccupied to care for them. And the teachers saw and did nothing….. they could just write on the blackboard while kids were fighting a kid at the back. They did not want to get involved. My brother only confessed this many years later when we were adults. I’ve never had that problem of being bullied in my gangster school.

Fast forward years later we grow up and went our own way. But the classmates found each other back through Facebook and reconnected. We all kinda really turned out okay. Some in high corporate positions, rising through experience and their problem solving skills, and then some already migrated to countries like US, Australia and Canada….. to mainly give their children a better chance of education. And some ladies chose to be stay at home moms to care for their kids because they wanted to give their kids the kind of childhood, love and care that they never had.

So in life, it depends on which side of the BAD that we wanna be in. The side where we hurt ourselves and others, or the side where we are bad towards our fears and shortcomings. My friends, some I know who came from broken families, made a conscious decision that that is not the way they want to live. Especially so after they settled down and have kids….. there is something concrete to work for….. and give their kids a good future. It was not hard for them to climb the corporate ladder easily because they are used to adapting and solving problems.

Real life is different from history or whatever textbooks in school….. and while they do not do well in studies, they are experienced in the school of hard knocks. When a problem presented itself, they help their company to solve it and from there, their companies recognized them as an asset and started to promote them. Some choose to migrate to give their kids a better education and also due to better job offers. Put them anywhere and they can survive and thrive.

The approach and attitude is very different compared to a person who have been raised in a sheltered life and have everything provided for them from young by busy parents who try to compensate for their lack of presence in their child’s life by buying them gadgets and giving them whatever they want. It will set them up for hardship in life later because they may become entitled and used to getting what they want….. and when life does not turn out that way, they have difficulty in adapting.

The choice is really up to us. If we blame our circumstances, then we lose our power and ability to shape and control our destiny. In the end, we are the ones that are stuck with our lives as no one can live our life for us. So it is up tp us to try our best to turn our life around….

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