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Expository Essay on Choices and Consequences


It’s not easy to say good-bye to your life. The hope for future in the backstreets of our mind always keeps us alert. We all seek for better places, more profitable deals and undertakings which give us a nice opportunity not to think about our destination each minute of our existence. It’s not easy to value life and death. But when the time comes up (the other people call it crisis) and we don’t have the desirable success in our education, work, communication and private life, we appear vulnerable, desperate and with no confidence in future. In such minutes any possible relief would seem to be the God’s grace. Some people become reserved; some on the contrary may seem too talkative and troublesome. Some people try to get rid of their thoughts and problems by inhaling alcohol, taking drugs a running risk. Once got achieved the temporary relief they back to it again and again till the last time in their shortened life. In other words, they commit suicide not knowing what it really is. It is not fair and it’s very far from human principles to show the back when you see a person who cries silently about his or her problems, especially when you know this person well.

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Dick Schaefer in his book ‘Choices and Consequences’, named after the main goal of this book, explains parents how should they act with children in order to prevent them from involving in bad habits, and how to show children what is the most important thing in life. Also, the author gives the precise picture of how do drugs and alcohol work, how do teenagers get involved in it (and by the way it begins very-very easily), and of course explains to parents, doctors, teachers, how to act with such teenagers and how to SAVE them.

I, personally, believed that the only way to avoid bad habits like that is to work only. Just to forget about it, and have something to think about always on your mind. Deep thoughts and every day’s problems make a person forget about many positive, but also many negative things! My extreme point of view about it is that only laziness brings tragedies like that. A person who has nothing to do tries to find ‘entertainment’ and usually such an entertainment becomes drugs or alcohol. But it’s just my point of view. Let’s see what suggests the author of the book.

The author believes, that often parents lead a so-called ‘scare-tactics’. They’re afraid to abuse children, especially if there’s only one child in the family, to say something rude to him and make a child become aggressive and ‘closed’ and reserved. In a word, he believes that no every parent is able to ‘behave in right direction’ and so, teaches them how to do it. He thinks also, that self-esteem in a teenager is a very good thing, but this is not enough. Every teen should learn the banal skills of life, like, for example, establishing priorities in life, managing time in a right way, and most of all – becoming responsible. Unfortunately, many parents shield their children from taking responsibility and thus build irresponsible, weak people with no character. This is a primary mistake that leads for bad habits. Because if the person is responsible and self-confident, and SURE in what he/she is doing, he/she will never involve in things like that. He shows parents how to teach their children responsibility. So, every parent should explain to his child, that if he/she wants freedom to make choices, he/she should understand the responsibility; he/she should understand that each ‘choice’ has its ‘consequences’. Expecting children to learn these easy and at the same time difficult lessons, Schaefer suggests parents to establish ‘limits’ for their children in order to make the children ‘test’ them. Then, when they’re tested, parents should force the limits again and if the limits are ignored, it’s necessary to set consequences. It’s impossible to help children in this process; it’s intolerable to reward children’s inappropriate behavior. To cut the long story short, it’s essential to ‘throw’ a child in this condition and to see, if he/she will be able to ‘survive’. And of course it’s impossible to do without love and respect, and care in the family. If the family is built on this basis, no tragedy will be able to destroy it, and no stupid desire to take drugs or alcohol will occur to the teenager.

I think, for a person like Dick Schaefer, it was essential to work in this field. As the director of the Touch Love Center in Fargo since 1981, he directs a staff of outreach workers who develop programs for alcohol and other drug users and children living with alcoholics. His books and his contribution to this field are enormous. And I think all the concepts in his book are right, because this person experienced these problems during his whole life.

If I had a friend or acquaintance that might be taking drugs, I’d definitely back him up, following the advices of this book, even if he/she didn’t need my sympathy or something. You know, I understand such problem very well, because I’m a teenager. For each of us every problem seems to be a great trouble, that’s why such sorts of problems are close to me. So the sacrifices of drugs are usually young people. At our age, if you’re not wanted to be part of society, if you’re always asked to stay back, everyone can easy be hurt. A person would show his defiance and would become aggressive. If to ignore it might seem a catastrophe, he would become reserved, unsociable and moody.

It’s really terrible to imagine, that there are some people around, who need your help, whom we don’t notice, can have a terrible end of their life. Afterwards, it’s easy to resume whether the lost man was good or bad. It’s easy to talk, but that’ unbearably hard to prevent from losing, regretting and crying. When you see a hand asking for help, eyes bagging for support, let your shoulder be free to lean on it.


Dick Schaefer. Choices and Consequences: What to do when a teenager uses Alcohol/Drug. 1987.

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