News Features Mentor's Corner Standing up for what's right!

I’ve done some crazy things in my life. I can remember one day some friends and I were riding our bikes when I was about 10. We were having a great time riding trails through the brush, tadalafil splashing through puddles, finding anything we could make a ramp out of...all the things that boys love to do. We happened upon a trail that led to a large hill. We thought we had struck gold. We would go to the top of the hill and ride down as fast as we could toward a ramp at the bottom of the hill. The ramp was no more than a pile of dirt, but to us it was a dream.

We started out just coasting down the hill. We could pick up some pretty good speed for the ensuing launch off our little dirt pile at the bottom, but soon that wasn’t enough. We began to pedal down the hill to get more speed. With each pass, we goaded each other into going faster and jumping higher. That is when we spotted it. On the hill, down a little from where we were, was a ramp (dirt pile) in the middle of the hill. It was larger than the one at the bottom we had been playing on. It looked quite daunting.

At first, no one mentioned it, but it didn’t take long until we were asking each other who was brave enough to take it on. It seemed as if I became the fall guy. All at once, everyone began pressuring me to take the risk. Terms like, “I dare you,” and “what are you, Chicken?” Began to come my way. Finally I agreed to take the risk. With visions of grandeur I lined up with the jump and started down. When I got to this mound of dirt, I tried to jump it with everything I had. What ensued was anything but glorious.

I had what I’m sure was the most glorious wipe out in bicycle history. I landed on the front wheel and went head over heels down the rest of the hill. When I came to rest at the bottom, the bicycle was on top of me and I thought I had died. I was in so much pain. It was in that moment that I realized that listening to my peers isn’t always a good idea.

We have heard many times not to be the victim of negative peer pressure. I have learned that we have to stand up for what is right. If I would have listened to my gut that day, I would have avoided much pain. I knew taking that jump wasn’t a good idea, but my friends got the best of me. I would guess that many of you reading this today have also been the recipient of bad advice from your peers. Standing up for what you know is right is sometimes tough, but always necessary. If we learn to do that, we might avoid the pain of a crash and burn in our lives. My encouragement to you today is to stand up for what is right. It might not always be easy, but who knows what pain might be avoided if you take the high road.

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