The following article is from Smith Alley, founder of the organization Live Life Bigger, and company Protechtstrong. Smith is allowing Citizens for Decency to post his article which was originally published on November 4, 2021, on Troomi’s website https://troomi.com/never-a-bad-day/.
Smith’s website and social media pages are:
I have a product that will make you happier than the day before. Day in and day out without fail. Are you interested? I hate to tell you that this product isn’t something you can add into your Amazon shopping cart with one click. It won’t be found at your local grocery store and isn’t even sold at the largest of Costco’s.
It’s a mindset. It comes from within yourself. I believe that the smallest of lights can shatter the darkness with one choice. Let me explain.
When I was younger, I used to walk up the street to play with the neighbor’s dog, Monty. He was the sweetest English Collie that you would ever meet. Monty’s owners were named Devon and Ruth. They were an old couple who have since passed from this life. This couple radiated light. Just seeing their house gave me a good feeling inside. Something that Devon said has always stuck with my family. “I’ve had hard days in my life, but I’ve never had a bad day. Life is good”. This man had seen all sorts of trials through his life. He lived through the great depression, saw WWII, lost a 9-month-old baby, and a 19-year-old son to suicide. Not to mention the fact that he had lost one arm and could only see out of his left eye. His light shined through all that darkness. It’s the light that I’ve chosen to try to live with.
My name is Smith Alley. I am 18 years old and a senior in high school. I’ve had hard days in my life, but I’ve never had a bad day. A bad day would entail that I didn’t learn anything.
Picture a young boy. From all too normal situations from years in elementary school, this boy had been bullied for his size and his stutter. At a young age he began to believe everything that the world was telling him. He believed that he wasn’t enough. After an innocent exposure to pornography, he found escape and love in the content. It was his fix to the emotional pain he was experiencing. Social media, video games, and pornography consumed his life. Over the years his natural, bright smile faded away, and those around him got to know the façade that he put up to hide his pain. At 14, legal trouble showed up at his door.
Now in most stories, this is the beginning of a very sad life.
This boy that I have told you about is me. It is my life story. This is where my choice was made. During the most emotional day of my life, when my parents found out about everything that I had been involved in, I made the most important decision of my life. I made the decision that all my faults, failures, and struggles would not predetermine who I would become. I would not follow the path that normally comes from a life of secrecy and pornography.
I quickly joined a recovery program and met with my religious leaders. I started to build good habits to take place of my bad ones. My parents got me a therapist and we worked on my mental health struggles. Slowly but surely, I began to feel better about myself, I destroyed my bad habits, and my relationships with my family were restored.
After having felt so much emotional pain, I wanted to prevent others from ever falling as far as I did. When I was 15, I decided to put on an event for my community where I spoke about the harmful effects of social media and pornography. A few months later I started a company called protechstrong, helping families set up their tech safely and create media goals. I started to work with Collin Kartchner and have cherished the relationship I had with him.
I have now spoken to tens of thousands of people throughout several different states. I started a non-profit called The Live Life Bigger Foundation, giving resources and content to inspire people to live a life beyond their screen and cherish this amazing life we have been given.
I wish you all the very best. I hope that you can fill your homes and your hearts with love and with peace. I truthfully believe that you deserve it. Always know that you have a family at The Live Life Bigger Foundation. We are here for you. Reach out if you need.
We cannot choose the life that we are given, but we can choose the way we decide to live it. Have hope. I am a living example that lives can be turned around, battles can be won, and people can change.
You just have to believe it too.