Speak Up, Kid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 3, 2013
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Rarely do I encounter a teenager with such powers of persuasion as Zachary Wallis. After reading his article, “Speak Up, Kid,” I was pleased to find someone who is relatively young and yet such an individual. But I was more impressed by how he was able to show me something I hadn't quite grasped until now. Although I have not experienced the age discrimination Zachary describes, his article showed me how hard it is to be in that situation.

I was truly moved when I read about how Zachary's father ignores his son's beliefs because they are not similar to his own. It's ironic that his father's attempts to show his authority are so childish; when he encounters an alien situation or concept, he automatically rejects it. This isn't a fault per se; after all, one of our species' (or any species', for that matter) key traits is that we fear what we don't understand.

Considering that Zachary's father is probably following the example set by his father, his only understanding of homosexuality, for example, is that it does not fit with his world view, and is thus bad. He's never given himself the chance to get to know a gay person, realize that who they are isn't wrong, and see how he's hurting them (much like how he calls his son a punk whenever he introduces new ideas).

This whole concept of fearing what we don't understand is also why the chain of ignorant adults continues. By the time we're grown up, we figure we've turned out pretty well and that for our child to be the same way, we'll need to mimic our parents. The difficulty in becoming an individual in this endless chain of conformity is what makes this author so incredible.

Kudos to you, Zachary, for you've made at least one person in this world less ignorant about this issue.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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WriterHead This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 10, 2013 at 10:20 pm
that's right, give credit where credit is due!!! :D
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