My jean jacket was a symbol of defiance

There's more than one way to get people to change their behavior.

When I was in high school, I had a coat that I'm sure many people would have liked me to retire to a closet. But the coat—a tattered jean jacket with a button that said "Question Authority"—was not just a coat. It was a statement about who I was.

Unfortunately, that message was interpreted by some people to be a warning that I was trouble. Yes, I did dress differently, and, no, I didn't always do what everyone expected me to do. But deep down I knew I was a good person. At least, deep down, I wanted to be. In my own quirky way, I had standards and morals. What I rebelled against were rules—and I did break quite a few over a period of years.

It's never too late to learn
August 13, 2001

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.