Nice Guys Finish Last This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Only the brave deserve the fair, but only rich, fat, cowardly merchants can afford the same. -

Chinese proverb



In life, there are many situations where being truthful and dignified will most certainly cause you defeat at the hands of an immoral, lying, cheating opponent.

Often, the clich" "Nice guys finish last" is appropriate in these situations. Acting in compliance with the ideals of society will gain admiration, but abandoning these ideals in favor of a win-at-all-costs attitude will gain success and respect from one's peers.

When I think of the people in our society who deserve to be honored, like teachers and those who help the less fortunate, I realize that they don't receive enough recognition in the form of money or our esteem. But people like athletes and celebrities, who often were a problem to society before they became famous, are idolized by children and adults alike and placed in a higher echelon of society. We are taught to maintain high moral standards and virtues, when these "stars" (who are often criminals, perverts, and mental defectives), continue to be revered and live fairytale lives while the real heroes in our world work long, hard hours without recognition from the public.

The reason for this moral decay lies in the fact that financial success is often put ahead of personal fulfillment. Children are taught that to be truthful, chivalrous, and brave is to be great. But young adults are told that the key to success is to make as much money as possible, however they can. These soon-to-be functioning members of society are pushed away from the Peace Corps and Greenpeace, and are steered toward a degree in law or business.

The result of this brainwashing is a society where the corrupt grow rich while the honest (who make the world a better place) receive less than they deserve. It seems like being a good person and being spiritually fulfilled is secondary to gaining monetary success. In today's society the inner-city schoolteacher who changes hundreds of lives is rarely acknowledged. But an ex-convict, womanizing, rap star who glorifies violence and illegal activities is worshiped by youth around the world is seen on television nightly. ?


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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