Rebellion

On the surface, Edward Abbey appears to be the quintessential rebel. He fits all the requirements for filling in the American mold of the rebel on which society thrives. He wrote lyrical pieces on the beauty of a desert breeze from the safety of his typewriter, able to watch the shrinking desert from a hammock down South. And while he served as an incredible source of inspiration for others, there was something Abbey didn’t understand.

Walking through the desert with half a gallon of water and a journal filled with rants on society does not make the difference. Sure, it inspires. But inspiration does not exist for the sole purpose of making people feel like they may have a chance in changing the world; inspiration is useless without action. You may write about it for your school papers and constantly remind friends to recycle their bottles, but the real rebellion takes place in those that take action. Those standing not on the sidewalk but in the sand know that the biggest sign of all is that of putting your preachings into practice.

Edward Abbey was an amazing man, one of character and courage. But rebellion , at its heart and soul, lies at the feet of those not afraid to do something about the twisted world in which we live. Who wrote the Endangered Species Act, and why aren’t their names splattering the walls of public libraries? What happened to the poor man who wrote the first draft of the Civil Rights Bill, or the Clean Air Act, or the Clean Water Act? The true rebels, the men and women who nobody will remember their names but somehow, in some strange sort of way, we can’t live without.

The heart of rebellion lies not in the signs held in front of the courthouse of the teenagers skipping class. It does not dwell in the corners of the Obama office or the dirty basement of a college dropout, filled with pot smoke and posters of Paris Hilton. True rebels are those not afraid to speak out against their government, schools, laws and regulations. Carrying a tote bag with a picture of a leaf on it does not make you an environmentalist, just as holding a Bible doesn’t make you a Christian. What makes the true difference, the difference that will continue to echo through the halls of elementary schools and legislative lobbies alike, is whether you put your morals into action.

While I would love to call myself a rebel, I’m not sure I quite fit all the requirements. I disagree with authority, as is my right as a teenager, but I’m thankful I haven’t encountered much in my life that would give me a true reason to rebel. I am not one who, in search of attention or reactions from those around me, rebels purely for the sake of rebellion. I feel thankful that I’m part of a wonderful family in a town that I love, and that a new addition to the largest governmental superpower in the world may now actually have some common sense. Rebellions, although existent, are far and few between for me. Thank goodness I don’t have to picket outside my front door every evening; that would be exhausting.





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