The world is a messed up place and we are all stuck here until our lives are through, or until we choose to leave. Its strange that I go along with everything everyone tells me, such as that I should ware certain cloths or listen to certain songs. I often wonder why I do the things I do, but then I just realize thats who I am.
People are confused about why they are here and they dont understand what life is supposed to be about. They think that they should be a certain way or think a certain way, but they are all wrong. We should all act however we want to and not let the world influence us.
When I was a child I thought that the world was to big for me to understand, but I was wrong. The world is easy to understand if youre not crazy. All you got to do is realize that no one really knows what he or she is doing or where he or she is going. Every day that I wake up I wish that the world would change to where it was all right to be who you really are. Instead you have got to be what the world wants you to be. Its sad that these days a child can be left out of a certain group because his parents cant afford the outrageously expensive cloths that the other kids ware. This may cause the child to feel less encouraged to try in school or other activities. This is the kind of small thinking that causes a teen to act out in violence. After years of being picked on and labeled as a trouble maker just because of who he or she is and were he/she comes from. Society often blames parents or television for these tragedies because they cant admit that their own selfishness and lack of respect for those less fortunate is the true poison of the world.
I once saw a man sitting on a street corner playing a guitar with his guitar case open. People passed him without looking or listening. Every now and then someone would toss some loose change or even a dollar, but they still never herd the music the man was playing. I stood and listened for about ten minutes to what was the greatest live version of Free Bird that I had ever heard. When the man finished I offered him some money not so people would see me doing but because I thought his performance was well worth it. The man just smiled at me and declined it saying, no thanks, your applauds are all the payment I was looking for. That was the moment in my life when I realized the world had it all wrong and society was blind. I was twelve years old.
Since that day Ive been on a quest to in some way show the world what I was fortunate enough to learn. Ive tried in many ways to show my peers that its ok to do your own thing and not follow others. Often Ive just been criticized for my actions and told that I was being ridiculous, which in a few extreme cases was true, but I didnt let that stop me. Over the past six years of my life Ive crawled out of what could be called the filth of society and established myself as an outstanding young man in order to get people to notice my examples Im trying to set. Of course I totally despise myself for the levels Ive stooped to in order to get where I am today. Never the less, I believe if youre going to do something right u might as well go all out.
So I guess by writing this Im trying to finalize the actions that have taken place in my life during what are suppose to be the most important years of a teens life. Perhaps this book will help open a few eyes and turn a few heads but more then likely it will just be criticized and manipulated my several people that are just afraid of the honest to god truth of the lives that we live. Yet, if it does only change one persons view on things and helps them to make at least one decision on their own then I shall be satisfied.
Well I guess the best place to begin this venture into my own reality is to start at the base of the problem. Now I know Im treading on thin ice with this entire book so forgive me if you get a fended by the truth. I think it all begins at home with the parents of young Americans. You see, in order for someone to grow up with frame of mind thinking that you should be a certain way they must first be taught to think this way. The best example would have to be a young white middle class male growing up in the south during the rise of the Klu Klux Klan. From birth this young man is taught to dislike black Americans for no other reason then the fact that his redneck father tells him to. Now the ignorance of this childs father leads him to have an unknown hatred that he will pass on to his children (after his sister gives birth to them) that will pass it on to their children. So know you have several generations of racist rednecks just because back in the day their great grandfather thought it was the cool thing to do. Now take a similar situation in modern day New York with a black family that hates whites because their grandparents where slaves. They show the same ignorance as the white redneck that doesnt now any better because thats the way they were both raised and they both know there is no need for this racism against each other but there are to many out side influences telling them otherwise.
Its sad when some many differences can easily be solved if we would just take off the blind fold long enough to see the truth, that we are all human on the same planet trying to accomplish the same goals. Racism is a terrible thing and I could probably write a whole book on it, but Im not going to. My goal is to show several points in depth yet this topic, witch is the cancer of society, is one that I choose to vaguely touch base on then move on. So I think Ive maid my point clear. If not then I shall briefly restate it.Dont let ignorance blind you from the truth person before you.
Another great example of the some what tragic influence parent have on their kids could be best described using what I like to call the Do as I say not as I do scenario. This shows how hypocritical parents can be in trying to better them selves through their childs life. The best case would be a nine year old child who is scared to strike out in baseball not because it would let his team down but because it would upset his father who by the way never played baseball worth a damn but if you ask him he was the greatest and his son will be to. Now you have the same kid as a senior in high school playing a game that he hates but pretends he loves because thats just how it should be. The same guy is also dating the head cheerleader and cheating on her with two other girls for no reason other then the fact that his old man did the same thing in high school. This kind of irresponsible parenting is what often causes athletes to over do themselves and miss growing up.
Ive met to many teen that fill that they must devote their young lives to nothing but pleasing their parents, instead of themselves. These are the same kids that when cute loose at college often flunk out because for the first time they get to experience life. They fall into the party seen and fall behind in their studies. Im not suggesting that parents should let their kids run free with out rules or boundaries, but at least let them make their own mistakes and learn from them so they dont fall apart in the real world.
I sometimes find myself cursing my parents for not giving me this attention that Ive described. Yet, if they had sheltered me from the truth I dont think Id be the person who I am today. My parent split up when I was nine years old and while they where busy fighting with each other my older brother was the one that thought me about life and how I have the ability to do what I want and make my own choices. He thought me how to take care of myself when others where to caught up in their lives to notice what I needed.
When he left for boot camp at the end of my sixth grade year I found myself virtually alone for the first time in my life. Dont get me wrong; my parents are not bad people. They just had their own problems and I didnt want to bother them with mine. So after running into some trouble with the law I made the choice to change my life and make something of it. This meant changing my friends and my bad reputation I had developed through my tougher younger years. I got involved in sports because I wanted to and I made some great friends that I will never lose. I also found out that I had a great mind for helping people.
This is when I first encountered the pressure that most kids where going through with their parents. These where guys that I had admired because I thought they had it all, a great family and great athletic ability. I soon found out just how lucky I was to be able to live my own life. While this freedom made me seem like somewhat of a rebel to most parents, it made me seem like a gimps of hope to my peers. Some adults applauded me for my efforts while others saw me as a glitch in their brainwashing scheme.
Dont take this the wrong way, I wasnt like Jone of arch or anything I was just a glimpse of what most of my friends would one-day experience. I was the truth about what was waiting for them outside of their parents shell that they had been confided to for their whole lives.
Its to bad that parents shelter their kids for as long as they do. If they would only see that most kids will get involved with sports and do good in school on their own if they would just get the chance to figure life out on their own, and if they dont then they probably wont once they are turned loose from their gravy chain.
The largest problem with today society is the constant pressure that teens have put on them by the world of entertainment. While most things on television arent bad its the little things that make it hard to be a teen. In the days of the boy bands and the rap rock groups most teens are torn between being a punk, with long hair and no real fashion statement other then blue jeans and a t-shirt, and being a prep with gelled hair and tight cloths. This often causes large groups of divers people to cling to those more like themselves. In the splitting of these two groups Ive seen the best of friends turn the other way when passing each other in the hall.
Now it is possible for the two groups to coincide with each other but it often takes a certain few individuals to bring them together. These people are known as the peace keeps. The ones that dont choose either side, but choose to be them selves. They are respected by both sides and give to different people a mutual friend.
This may only be my personal opinion or the way I see things at my school, but no matter where or when people should be able to relate to what Im talking about. Through out history there have always been different groups of people living close to each other in society. This is just the way the world works. Yet, in the past ten years there has been a large out burst of free thinkers.
What I often find up setting is that in order to fit in with todays fashion trends you have to be able to afford the more expensive brands of cloths. Why should a teen be looked down upon just because his or her family cant afford the most expensive pair of shoes or pants? If you had the chance to walk through the halls of most high schools it would not be hard to pick out the different groups of kids. I guarantee that one thing you are able to notice between the groups is the label on their cloths. There is not much of a difference between Gap jeans and Lee jeans, except about twenty or thirty dollars. This is enough to separate the richer class from the lower class.
I say lower class because I want you to understand that these families are not pour. They are just your average class family that works hard to provide for their kids and give them a home, food, and education that they may not have had growing up. When you are living on a fixed income there is often not enough room in the family budget for fancy and expensive cloths. This often hurts the way a teen sees them. They think they are dirt pour and they resent those kids that have more then them.
Then this builds a strong hate between both groups because one has more and the other is just often times stuck up and doesnt realize how they look down on others. This is the worst problem with society today. There is just too big of a gap between classes that makes it hard for a lot of kids to relate to each other.
In the previous and rather short chapters I have pointed out the factors that I believe lead to what I call the No Way Out problem that most teens experience around the last two years of high school. This problem can affect all types of teens in several different ways. From the jock that feels that he is being forced to play college ball like his father, to the middle class out cast that doesnt know what to do with his life. They are all forced to work out this problem on their own despite how many people say they can help them. What finally decides which ones are successful in life is how they choose to handle this problem.
Take the jock for instance that cant decide if he wants to play in college. If playing ball is the only way he can get into college then he has not choice but to do what he canned. Yet, if the only reason he accepts a college scholar ship is because his father wants him to even though he is smart enough to get into college with out sports, then which decision should he make? On one hand he will make his father proud witch is what he has been doing his whole life. On the other hand he could fulfill his own dream of going to a college that is not focused manly on sports. If he follows his father then he will always be known has a joke, if he follows his dream then he will be known for his brilliance. The choice is his, but which road will lead to happiness? Some say the dream, but others say the happiness of a loving father out weighs any dream.
While I will agree that this may not be a large problem it still puts a lot of pressure on a teen while trying to finish out your high school years. And in his world this may have been the biggest problem of his life, while in another it was icing on the cake of troubles. For example a high school senior that has a low GPA, but a bright mind.
This senior is going to have to work hard trough Junior college before able to transfer to a four year college. This was not in his plans at a younger age and it has him somewhat discouraged the last year of high school. He know what he has to do to get into a two year college, which is very little, but he is still getting hounded on by everyone to do his best at the end. His family is not exactly rolling in money for him to go to a big college on, and a two-year college first would be a lot cheaper then straight into a four-year university. If he busts his but to slightly pull himself out of a whole at the end of the year then he may be able to get accepted to a big college with most of his friends, but could be afford it. The best thing for his family is the two-year college, yet in his eyes the best thing for him is to be with all his friends. Should he push himself to get further and put his family in debt so he can be happy, or does he do what will be easier for him and his family by sliding through the rest of high school and just going to the smaller college?
You might be surprised how common this problem is among todays high school kids. Yet its still not the worst thing that a teen can go trough. The biggest problem would be a senior that is thinking he can not get any where in life not matter what he does.
This is the guy that you will most often find in the back of class asleep because he doesnt think he should try or put forth any effort. His parents have not paid enough attention in his eyes and for this he hates them for bringing him into this world. He is just waiting for the day when he turns 18 so he can drop out of school. Hes not thinking of getting a G.E.D. to go on to some sort of technical school though. He often speaks of the fact that he has a gun at home and when he turns 18 he can buy bullets. This will be the fastest way. He has mumbled to a few classmates that grow concerned that he might not be kidding around. And when they go to the guidance office to report what he has said, the consoler tells them that she is busy today and tomorrow, but she will try to get to it sometime Thursday around 10:30.
This is the worst situation that I have ever heard of in my entire life. What could possible lead this teen to think killing himself is the only way out of his problems. And how could a guidance consoler put a problem like this off for two in half days with and real concern for the teens life. It makes you wander why we are so surprised when a teen walks into a school and blows himself away and takes a few with him. People try to blame high school shootings on television or heavy metal music because it is easier to blame something on someone else other than you.
The world today puts to much pressure on teens growing up. Not to fight in war or get a job, but to just be a teenager. There is to many groups that we are supposed to fit into and to many standards that we have to meet in order to be socially acceptable. In order for todays generation of teens to freely be accepted they are going to have to become adults and replace the older generation that are to stuck in their own ways to truly let us be our on persons.
Our ideas are new and fresh and this often intimidates our elders that fear change and the fact that they will soon be replaced by younger, fresher, and more creative models. Todays students are learning more and faster then thoughts before us. My opinion, which may not matter much to most, is that if we are developing are mind faster and better than we should be able to share our educated views with the rest of the world before the destruction that we already have to clean up gets any worse. Generations before us have already been careless with the environment and several other things that may not affect them in their own life times but will have to be dealt with by those to come.
One large problem dealing with the environment is the landfill space or lack there of. While the methods used to dispose of the earths waste have been somewhat successful, there is only so much space that we can use before the trash that we produce over flows into our back yards. Just like Sara Senthia Silvea Stout who would not take her garbage out, if we dont deal with this quickly growing problem it may be to late. Luckily some of the futures brightest minds are learning about the situation at an early age and will soon develop the knowledge it will take to clean up this mess.
Todays youth is also wising up to the fact that we cant continue to keep killing each other in the streets over childish difference like territory that we dont even own. We are learning to look past skin color and religion to see that we are all human. In order for the human race to continue to be that dominate species we must stop killing our own kind like savage beasts. The only sad thing is that it took an incidence like Columbine to really open our eyes to the problem of social discretion that is the poison of today society. Yet the only people you can blame for the problem with my generations views of each other is the adults that taught them to think with such small-minded mentality.
It seems that more often these days Im opening the newspaper to find and article about a fifteen-year-old child genius that is already earning a degree from a large university and moving on to a high paying job in a very respected field. It amazes me what we are capable these days. We are a generation that thrives on out doing each other intellectually. There is no doubt in my mind that we will soon revolutionize the world, as we know it.
In a society built by dreamers we are some of the best by far. Since most things have already been done or accomplished we are able to reach further and improve on what has been created or not even thought of yet. I personally cant wait to see what we are fully capable of doing.
To kind of change to subject for a moment Id like to sort of let some of my own inner thoughts and dream spill out into written word. Just for the simple fact that while Ive been giving my opinion on several subjects, I think its only fare that you learn what has been manifesting in my brain over the past years to create what I hope to one day make a reality for myself.
Since Ive grown up in a middle class family Ive often dreamed of a successful life. I know there has always been a point in most peoples lives when they have dream about what they will become and the wonderful life they will make for themselves. For myself, Ive always thought that I would do something to become rich and famous quick. This may have been what first inspired me to sit in front of my computer and try to write a book. Even as I type this right now Im imagining what will come of it. Will this simply be a file that remains on my computer unfinished and forgotten about? Our will I one day publish it and go on to write several novel that are read by a large audience. The future is a funny thing to think about, because there are so many possibilities and factors that could change the course of my life.
Perhaps I will become a famous actor on the big screen, or a rich politician that will become president. One thing I know for sure is that I wont be one of those guys that live in the same town he grew up in where everyone has known him since he was a little kid. You know the kind of guy that Im talking about. The one that went to a college close to home and came back to be a teacher, coach, or manager of a furniture store. Dont get me wrong, these are all great people that make great parents, but thats not a life that I want for myself.
I want to make a name for myself in this world, and in order to do that Ive got to do something big to get recognized and get out of this small town.