Taking Actionby Peter Triantafellow, No. Smithfield, RI"Those who run away, live to run another day." An idea like this can play a critical role in our lives, where running away is not a good option. Have you ever heard of the "fight or flight" theory? It is believed that, in every situation, a person is presented with a choice: you either "fight" (confront fears, say no, stand up for yourself, etc.) or "flee" (run away or use an easy out). Thus fight or flight.My initial quote might sound familiar. It should. The quote you are thinking of is, "Those who run away, live to fight another day." In my mind, that is not true. One who runs away cannot and will not fight. If you run away from "fights," you will never learn how to stand up for yourself.I don't mean literal fighting or running. Say a person asks you to do something you don't want to do. The "fighting" would be saying no, and the "running" would be saying yes. You need to stand up for yourself. Saying "yes" will only lead to another time when you say "yes." If that keeps up, you won't stand up for yourself.Let me give examples. I know this kid who was always trying to please others. He never said "no" to a job. He would never stand up for himself. He always did what people told him, always followed trends, always did other people's work and never got anything for it.On the other hand, I said no. I never did other people's work unless I wanted to. I do what I want, say what I want and couldn't be happier - all because I stand up for myself.The first step is just refusing to do what your peers tell you. If you are able to do that without making them dislike you, then you are on your way to being a fighter. The next step, (one I consider VERY important) is refusing to do what the media tells you. If you can do that, then you are an independent person, who does what he/she wants. You wear what you want, do what you want, say what you want and act how you want.There are two choices. Running is not a very good choice. That leaves one other option. Fight to the end. tf
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.