Do you remember being told you had to stay inside when you wanted to be outside with your friends? Were you ever told to be back inside at a certain time when your friends could stay out as long as they wanted? Remember the days when you couldn’t go a certain distance from home? Oh yeah, I remember those days. I remember getting upset being told to come in & my friends teasing me about having a curfew. The street lights weren’t even on yet, why did I have to come in? Why couldn’t I stay out & have fun with my friends?

Before I started going outside, I was always inside playing video games. Minding my own business, playing peacefully & quietly. But somehow, I was told to get off the games & go outside to get fresh air. As a child, it always would upset me being told to get off the games when I’m doing no wrong or causing any trouble. I didn’t have a lot of friends, those that were lived somewhere else. Yet, there was always that chance of meeting & making new friends within my surrounding area. Then of course, there was a certain distance from home I could go so I couldn’t do any real exploring. Yet, once I did make a couple of friends, I found myself going outside a bit more often than I thought.

But of course, that is when the rules started to kick in as to how long I could stay out, being reminded how far I could go from home, & the occasional reminder “do not talk to strangers”. Some friends I hung out with would link up with their friends & we’d all hang out together. I didn’t quite consider them strangers if my friends knew them, so we all mutually became friends. My young self was too quick to declare someone a friend. I didn’t know the difference between an actual friend & an acquaintance, which was what they really were. I didn’t really know them, how they are, or what they were about. And that becomes dangerous, because hanging with someone with a possible notorious background could bring terrible karma around you. I would be eager to hang with them all again, but it would always come short when I’d have to come inside early, or even sometimes told to stay inside. I hated being the only one that had rules to follow. I wanted to be like them, I wanted to do what they do & be “cool” with them.

It wasn’t until I grew when I realized the true benefits of being told to stay inside. It meant I had a family that cared. They were well aware of the dangers of the outside world & knew it was even more dangerous for me at the time because of my young age. Staying inside would save me from being at the wrong place at the wrong time, being hurt, in trouble with the law, kidnapped, or unfortunately dead. Hanging with the people that didn’t have or follow rules may cause such things to happen to my own self. I was often taught the harsh realities of the world we live in, & I am witnessing it on a daily now. My family knew growing up is inevitable, but to make sure I grew up in a correct & safe manner was something I can give a warm & sincere thank you to. To this day, I myself choose to stay inside often. Being aware of the possibilities that could happen outdoors doesn’t make me fearful, but rather cautious. To know where & where not to tread, to know who to ally with & who to avoid, & to remember that actions will always have a reaction.  The simple decision of staying inside can save you from a lot of things the outside world can throw at you.

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