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Microphone This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

We've all had that feeling before: nobody can hear us, and they don't care about we have to say. It's like our microphone has been turned off. We're talking, begging, screaming for someone to hear, but they just can't. Instead, all they hear is the big mush of voices from the few microphones that were left on. Society's voice, telling them how they should act, dress, talk, what they should be interested, and where they should be at in life. They want to block it out; to find their own way. But how can they find their own way when everything they know is the very words that those microphones speak? They have no choice but to follow its orders.

There are times where I sit and wonder how we came to be the way we are. How did life, something that was once filled with love, curiosity, and merriment in our younger days, suddenly morph into this hideous monster that appears everywhere we turn? How were we ever driven from what we know is right and just, to the things that we know are wrong and hateful? When did all the gossip, all the lies, all the murder and suicide, all the fashion, and all the war begin? When did those sweet, innocent children that once loved life change into the image of society?

I'll tell you what happened: greed happened. People began wanting more than they already had. Magazines make a fortune by selling pictures of women. Commercials are constantly telling you how you can improve yourself or the life you’re living in. Your own peers are telling you that getting in trouble, drinking, and doing drugs are fun and will lead to happiness. We are driven to follow. What can we do? After all, nobody can hear a turned-off microphone.

Although it may seem hopeless to fight at first, all microphones can be turned on with a flip of a switch. So why don’t we turn on our microphone?

Because we’re scared.

We fear what others will say once they hear this new and different voice – a voice that goes against everything they have been told up until that moment. We are afraid that we will be cast out, and be more miserable than we started. Maybe keeping our microphone off is for the best? More people will like us if we become an exact copy of everyone else. But is this really living? Cowering in fear, all because of the possibility that we might be disliked. Sure, we may be disliked at first. People tend not to like those who are different. What we may not realize is that, even though we are only one voice out of many, some people will listen to this new, mysterious voice. They will find that the like this new voice’s words, and, with a certain amount of courage, will turn on their microphone as well. Soon, many people will turn on their own microphone, and then it will be society’s voice that is left as only a hum in the background.

I have already turned on my microphone. Will you too?

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