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Jared Rawlings

Jared Rawlings is an eighth-grade student at Colonial Middle School. He was honored by Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich as an ambassador in the Do the Write Thing Challenge, a national anti-violence essay competition. 

Do the Write Thing essay: Violence can turn your life around

By Published: March 31, 2019 4:00 AM CT

Violence is one of, if not the most, controversial issues here on earth. It has had a negative effect on many individuals, including me. It can turn your life around for the worst in an instant. Violence has left me frightened, confused and full of sorrow. 

One prime example of how violence has impacted my life happened one summer night when I was getting some food with my brother. A wave of blue lights caught my attention. I abruptly began to watch dozens of police cars racing down the street after someone, and I saw what looked like a crime scene. Officers were frantic and I could not make sense of what my eyes were seeing. Later, I found out that I had witnessed the crime scene of the murder of Officer Sean Bolton. I will never forget that night. 

Another awful experience that I had with violence is something that I remember like it was yesterday. This left me frightened, confused and sorrowful too. On September 30, 2011, on a Friday night, my late great-grandmother was at a gas station where she was abused and carjacked by two men. They stole her car and everything in it, leaving her there with a concussion. She, nor I or my family were ever the same after that, and we never saw her car again.

Usually, violence transpires through young people. This is where it all begins. There are many possible reasons why. Most of the time, a child and/or adolescent is around so much negativity they don't know any better. They may have family members who are abusive, possible drug addicts or criminals. They have no role models to look up to. Some may power through that, and know that what they're around is bad, but for many, it is hard for the message to get through.

Not only in my life have I seen violence, but I have also seen peers as well as friends of mine that have begun to commit themselves to a violent lifestyle. I think that the best way to prevent the continuation of this is to first of all, let them know that someone cares and they are not alone. Second of all, make them aware that what they are doing is not right, there are consequences and there is a better life awaiting. Third of all, find out what they are passionate about and suggest a role model to them who could inspire them to do greater things. We can all put a stop to violence if we just keep a more focused eye out and all in all, just show that we care a little bit more.   

<strong>Jared Rawlings</strong>

Jared Rawlings

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