Recently my cousin, Russell and his wife visited me, my husband and daughter. Growing up Russell was considered the bad boy destined for a dead end life. He admits now he was headed for life of crime and carelessness as a student in Flint, Michigan schools. As a child I remember certain family members putting a fork in him before he turned 21. Indeed he was headed in the wrong direction, and most likely may have ended up in jail or dead.
A push from a neighborhood friend to get him away from gangsta life proved to be the turning point in his life. He took a leap of faith and left Flint with no money on a one-way-ticket to Houston, there he worked several jobs and enrolled in college.
Russell is 35 now and an EMT. By all accounts he is doing well for himself and his family. As we were catching up on our lives in the hotel lobby we reflected on how some of our relatives who were thought to be headed in the right direction have failed to meet expectations.
My cousin has proved naysayers wrongs. On my way home, I reminded myself to be careful not to assume I know how anyone will end up. You never know, sometimes a knucklehead boy turns out to be a man you can be proud of.
Do you know someone who turned their life around?