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Compare and Contrast

When I hear her name, I want to cringe. But the worst time was when my own mother said her name.

Mom said her name, and how she won the state writing contest and asked me, "Why didn't you sign up for that contest? You could've beaten her if you had only entered." I told my mom that I hadn't heard of any writing contest in the area, but she replied, "You should ask your English teacher more about those contests. I bet she knows about those; you should have asked. You don't even write every day." I cried a long time that night, with little ridiculous voices whispering things like, "I bet she's written a book like yours, but it doesn't even compare. All you write about is rainbows and fairies and similar crap while she writes about things that matter." My mom wouldn't listen to any of my cries. She told me to suck it up and stop feeling sorry for myself. And although she was right and that I was having a bit of a pity party, I think the girls who suffer the most are the girls who constantly want to measure up to the other ones around them.

No, it's not the girls who go anorexic to impress their "significant others"; it's not the girls who have lost a loved one. I think that the worst kind of mental torture you could go through is the torture you will always feel when you try to be someone else. It gives a sick, demented other meaning to "Love your enemy."

The Centers for Disease Control state that the third leading cause of death of adolescents ages 15-24 is suicide, and a fourth leading cause of death of preteens ages 10-14. Suicide can be caused by multiple events and ideas, but a few big causes are the feeling of worthlessness and inability to succeed in school. Why would they feel worthless and unachieved? Is it because they have some other set regulation of how they should be personally, what grades they should make, how they should dress, what person they should date? Although envy is only the third of the seven deadly sins, pride is right on top, which is what's really affected when someone becomes jealous. People will always try to measure up to meet someone's standards; a parent, a teacher, a celebrity, or even a student -- what I had dealt with when I felt unworthy of becoming a novelist.

Every human is designed genetically, emotionally, and spiritually different. We are composed of atheists, Christians, Buddhists, blacks and whites, gays and straights, rebels and meek, artists and scientists. It could be a worldwide revolution, it could be cheering someone in the hallway by smiling at them, but you have a purpose in this world, and it's not to be someone you're not.

In a video against teenage suicide, John Quale states that "The world is a rainbow, but it wouldn't be a rainbow if even one of the colors were missing."





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