The Impact of Influence on My Younger Mind

I didn’t just catch the bad stuff from those around me when I was young, nor was I anything close to the perfect sponge every parent hoped for, absorbing the good stuff only. Instead, I was a perfect (or imperfect) blend of good and bad, albeit a blend that found me on the wrong side of the fence more often than not.

As mentioned from the start, I caught a dose of ignorance from the crowd on the sidelines (along with the good stuff, of course). Ignorance is a force to be reckoned with because most won’t ever see it in themselves, which is when you know it’s working like a charm. The reality is that we all get a dose of it applied to one area of our lives or another. Over time, my parents, elders, family, extended family, semi-outsiders and borderliners within my sphere of influence (teachers, friends, and acquaintances), all gave me a decent serving of both good AND challenging influence in terms of how to live my life.

Naturally, my ears and eyes soon became accustomed to each of these ‘ways’ which were also scheduled at different days and times of the week. This particular belief came on Monday, while a different belief arrived on Tuesday. Or this way was the right way at 9 am when in the company of one group of people, while the other way became dominant after 5 pm, when I was around another group of minds. Thus the ‘waves of many ways’ came in from all angles and would often contradict one another when packaged altogether.

No doubt, it was this routine that kept on living as I got older, not me. Being easily influenced at a young age, I merely filtered through what I knew at the time and created my own patterns or set-ways for when I was on my own. Ultimately, I was handed ignorance in the form of a visor from my surroundings, which not only blocked dangerous light from entering my world, but it also thinned out much of the nourishing information that was available. Generational hand-me-downs are supposed to protect us and help us through life, but sometimes the toxic byproducts that come from them can really outweigh their benefits.

Family and friends who were around me growing up, I am grateful for their presence because I understand that the good comes with the bumpy (nobody’s perfect) and that’s how we all grow. Not that I wanted to grow, mind you, but I got to the point where I had no choice but to grow the hell out of a dark hole that I had dug myself into. However, for some reason back then, the challenging or darker elements from my surroundings, including certain substances, gripped onto me, or they more or less became me. This was at a time when I veered off the good path and headed down the Darkside with these new god-like sensations I had never felt before- engulfing me and captivating my attention.

After weakening my system to these influences, some of which I’ll eventually list, I became obsessed with dangerous things that made me feel almighty and supreme.

One of my greatest obsessions growing up was making explosive materials and setting them off, which would have been okay if there was a teacher around. Unfortunately, my bible was a ’90s online open-source e-book called ‘The Terrorists Handbook’, and it had everything from explosive recipes to hacking, cracking and credit card cheating. No need to force this book upon me. If there had been a paperback version, I would have slept with it under my pillow every night after praying. That’s how much I loved it.

Therefore, I ended up ignoring many important things that I could have used as stepping stones to a more grounded reality. Besides, back then chemicals were readily available, even for a 14-year-old kid. Nothing put a smile on my face more than getting my hands on something I knew I shouldn’t have. Fortunately, I can now see where that path leads.