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My Declaration of Independence

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There comes a time in every person's life when one can no longer rely upon their parents for everyday transportation. As we age, one key factor binds us to our parents, and limits the independence that we rightfully deserve. That factor is that we rely upon our parents to take us where we need to go and when we need to get there, but we are limited by their schedule and their plans. The situation becomes worse if one has siblings, which depend upon their parents as well. One is forced to shape their schedule as not to interfere with that of their siblings, and their siblings are forced to do the same. And while public transportation may relieve us from some of our dependence, it is limited by specific times and locations. We live in an area where public transportation is not a sufficient replacement for a car. This is not Manhattan, where subways link the entire city, and everything is within walking distance. This is Staten Island. We have just one rail line, and everything is separated by large distances. Cars are just as necessary to get around here effectively as subways are to get around Manhattan. There is no way around it.

This struggle for independence of motion is not a new one. From the day we were born, we have struggled to be able to move on our own. Our first battle won was the ability to crawl. No longer were we forced to stay stationary where our parents placed us. The ability to walk and then run then freed us from the slow motion that crawling provided. The ability to jump and climb allowed us to clear obstacles that out parents may have placed in our way. And the ability to climb stairs saved us from relying upon are parents to leave a specific floor. As we won more battles against immobility, we eventually got our parents to trust us to go outside on our own, and then to use public transportation on our own. But we must strive for our final freedom. Is not ability to drive yourself wherever you want, whenever you want, simply the final battle to be won against dependence on your parents for mobility? Wouldn't it symbolize final independence of motion? Indeed it would. Denying us from our own cars and the means to use them as we please is just as much an injustice as denying someone the ability to walk without permission.

This is an independence that we must all win for ourselves individually, and at our own times. We don't all get our licenses on the same day, but most of us will go through this battle. For some, independence will come easy, with their parents quickly surrendering to their whims. For others, winning independence may require a long and arduous struggle. But whatever your situation, I tell you, the battle can be won! One at a time, we must fight for our right to drive a car. Now, my time has come to enter the final struggle. My days of waiting are over. I can no longer stand to wait for my parent to pick me up. I can no longer stand to be late to swimming practice just because my parents are busy. I can no longer stand not having the right to drive a car. This oppression has gone on for long enough! I will stand up and I will fight it! I will gain my final freedom of mobility!




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