A City of Hope

I grew up on a Council Estate in the UK, known as “The Projects “, in the US. The residences of low-income families, the unemployed and the unemployable. Relying on state benefits that keep them in poverty or luxury, depending on how well you can work the system. Notorious for being overrun with drugs and violence. Gangs and bullies on every street corner. 

My Council Estate was no exception. Most of the estates’ gang members lived on my street and they made my life hell. Bullied at school, then home to the bullies and gangs on the streets. 

Enduring years of physical, mental and emotional abuse, it got to the point where I planned suicide at ten years old and survived a suicide attempt at sixteen. My life was desperate. 

Once, the notoriety of my Council Estate saved me from a beating. Visiting a friend in the next town, three huge, strong guys stopped me. 

“Hey, this is our area. What are you doing here, and where are you from?” one of them demanded. 

“Seeing my friend and I am from the Flower Estate.” I replied. 

All three of them stepped back visibly shaken, apologising profusely; they kept on backing away. They had heard how tough the Flower Estate” was. 

One of the biggest issues on a Council Estate is that there is an invasive attitude of “NO HOPE”. They have no hope and no great desire to better or escape their circumstances.  

The only escape for many, oblivion in cheap drugs. Content to live like that for the rest of their days.  

I, on the other hand, could not wait to escape. As soon as I was able, I left this prison.  

However, the Council Estate had not left me. It hounded me for years. An inner voice heckled me at every opportunity. You see, even though I had physically ‘left’ the Council Estate, the mindset and mentality were ingrained deep within me. 

My mindset over money and unworthiness screaming in my ear, everything is ‘Hopeless’.  

“Why bother. You can’t escape the Council Estate Mentality” tore at my identity each day. 

And it was hopeless. I was without hope. 

Until an “A-Ha” moment. 

A path lit up before me. A way to escape the Council Estate for good. 

I would become Mayor of my own city. A city called Hope. 

Unworthiness was banished beyond its walls. 

Poverty replaced by the riches of self-worth. 

The potholes of despair filled in. 

The slums of shame regenerated into towers of honour. 

As Mayor, I make the rules; I make the laws; I push forward with change. 

I became Mayor of my city and resolutely instigated the changes until I was free of the Mentality of the Council Estate. 

You too can become Mayor of your city, of your life.  

You want “Hope”, then seize this moment to break free.  

What are you waiting for? Go and become Mayor of your own city.

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