Has My Neighborhood Shaped Me?
As humans, I believe we are past racial segregation. However, a new has risen, and it is the idea of neighborhood separation. The neighborhood I live in does not ultimately define who I am. I agree it does have a small aspect on the measure of peace a family can have and the schools can attend; nonetheless, some individuals choose to have a higher quality of life experiences and prefer not spending their hours toiling extremely hard to purchase a home in an incredibly decent neighborhood. Additionally, some individuals are birthed into families that are less fortunate and live in regions that are not the most extravagant; however, they never allow that to define who they are. I believe if one works hard and is willing to apply the effort, they can thrive despite their neighborhoods’ status, as long as adequate resources are provided.
An article composed by Michael Gonchar’s states that many working-class and low-income families are gravitating towards suburbia reasons which appear to promise better schools, less violence, and job opening. I think Gonchar’s article fails to define what suburbia is. In his article, Michael made it seem that the suburb is where the fortunate reside; however, a suburb is a mixed or residential area existing either as a constituent of an urban area, city, or different residential community within a city’s commuting distance. This article is in a way saying that individuals inhabiting suburban houses are better off in life. I suppose I am in no way defined by the area I stay in. As long as I have the essentials in life, I will be defined by the individuals around me along with how I carry myself.
To support my point further, some people splurge carelessly on experiences and not on mortgages for homes in ‘decent’ neighborhoods. I would personally opt to live in a smaller home, in a neighborhood classified as less than ideal and still be capable of exploring the world. I believe that these are the experiences that define you as an individual; the time sacrificed to tour the planet, seeing civilization from different prospects, soaking in new cultures and experiencing other countries’ way of life.
“Bad neighborhoods will visit you if you do not visit them,” Thomas Friedman once stated. This quote simply states that bad neighborhoods merely consist of bad people; this is untrue. Michael Oher, who played for the Baltimore Ravens, was birthed and raised in the ghetto, with no father and a mother who habitually consumed drugs. Each day, Michael was surrounded by gang members, drugs, and violence. Despite these, Michael allowed not his neighborhood define who he is. He broke out, started playing football, and transformed his life (he made himself a name). Is the phrase “from rags to riches” familiar to you? Millionaire movie and play producer, Tyler Perry began with nothing. He initially was homeless and slept in cars and under street benches. Even though Tyler Perry did not necessarily live in a neighborhood, Perry refused to have those above define him. Like I stated earlier, now he is a millionaire.
Other than becoming rich, some individuals only thought “I discern what I want to become, and I will labor tirelessly to get there.” Another example is myself; I lived in a neighborhood known as ‘Wheeler Holmes’ where nothing good ever happened. It was either one was in a gang, constructing chaos, or getting drunk. Currently, I am an academic achiever working on my goals. I choose not to be like the others in my neighborhood. I desire to become somebody. I made a choice.
Some people argue that when you are part of a gang and you continually have to represent your neighborhood and if you’ve been deprived since birth, you have no option. I disagree; you have an option not to join the gang. You can make a resolution and dedicate yourself wholly to achieve it. Like Michael made a choice to evade the gang and Tyler Perry to not settle for poverty, you can decide as well. It sums up to you, as an individual, is what you yearn to be. Only you can define yourself.
Ultimately, the neighborhood I reside in does not and will never characterize who I am. I believe I am defined by the individuals around me and the way I carry myself along with the experiences all through my life. For instance, I am shaped by my mother who has inspired me to exceed and transcend my current circumstances. She constantly coaxes me to perform in school, and she helped me get mentally ready for school. Through her, I realized that with perseverance and commitment, anything is accomplishable. I initially believed that my neighborhood would affect the person I am, I was mistaken. Because of a wise woman’s guidance, I define my future. Despite my neighborhood’s norms, I still remain me. I strongly disagree that one’s neighborhood defines them.