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Brainwashing This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   So here I am, right? Doing my usual thinking about what makes us tick. I keep thinkin' and thinkin' but nothing's clicking. The usual questions are involved: why are we here? What's our purpose in this random, chaotic world? Is there anything after this? Well, after a while, I grasped the reason why I can't come to any conclusions. You see, when we are young we are also innocent. Our thoughts are not plagued by things like foreign massacres, wars, world hunger, bills, cars, aids, drinking and driving, and all those other nasty things that occupy our somewhat bleak and shallow minds of adulthood. So, in a nutshell, my mind could not think like it used to because these other morbid issues had crept in.

Before I had realized it, thanks to school and the newspapers and the TV and my boss at the gas station (who reminds me of how bad life is and how I should quit while I'm ahead), I had fallen into the great big rat race of the world. At this point I had become quite flustered and annoyed. So, I proceeded to tear up my present persona of propaganda and things that need not be thought about by anyone, and replace it with my old one. Live and learn, concentrate on improving the lives of people in your immediate area. Relish in your own brilliance and make it grow until it can't grow anymore. Be kind and empathetic and help those in need of your strength. Most importantly, let the clones in their Armani suits and fine salon manicures struggle to win the rat race to their hearts' utmost desire. But never ... ever become one of them. If you do, your heart slowly dies and you start to anticipate death, thus, you fear life, and you just take up space.

So, all in all, just make a difference in your own way. Give someone a quarter in Penn Station, tell someone you love and need them, but most of all believe in yourself, because no matter what you think, everyone has the power to make a difference. Don't become a clone, my friends. There are way too many already. Believe me, if everyone takes a similar approach, our downward spiral will come to a halt and slowly but surely become an upward surge of hope.

To those who read this: if you disagree, that is your right. To those who agree, good. Use it to your advantage and spread these views. Most of all, above all, enjoy your life. It goes so fast sometimes, you open your eyes one day and ten years have passed. Don't close your eyes and you'll do fine. ?


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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