By David Macias
Photo via Flickr
If you’re like me you were raised by a single mom. In fact, most of my friends are in the same situation.
I’ve often wondered why my father abandoned me and why I never got to know him, but the only justification is that he simply didn’t want the responsibility of raising a child. I can’t hate him for that, but I can never respect him.
Growing up I had a father figure, my grandpa, but he passed away during my freshman year in high school, when I desperately needed a role model in my life. His passing was the beginning of the darkest point in my life. I was having trouble understanding why such a great man had to suffer and die from such Alzheimer’s, a horrible disease. It felt unfair. I felt mad, and sad. I even felt upset at God for letting such a thing happen. I was at war in my own mind.
Without a father figure I felt lost. I resorted to the streets. Many young teens are in the same situation I’m in. Some go even deeper by turning to gangs for guidance.
Growing up in the streets taught me a lot. It gave me strength and made me feel like I had some power. It gave me the feeling of being a man. But not everything was positive. The streets also exposed me to drugs and violence. I know many young people who lost their life or got put behind bars.
All of these things happen because men refuse to step up and be a father. Young teens begin to hunt for role models and end up in situations that negatively affect their lives. This is the reality in my generation. It seems the number of fatherless kids going down the wrong path is increasing. I’m not writing this for sympathy or for attention. I am writing this to bring reality to life, and to speak for many teens in the same situation as me.
Men need to start stepping up and do their job.
David Macias, 18, is a proud Mexican-American from the Central Valley. A native of Merced, he sees the importance of being engaged in his community and changing the status quo. David has been a Youth Reporter for We’Ced Youth Media for the past year. He likes to report on issues plaguing his neighborhood and has a huge interest in music and poetry.