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

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   I am sure that almost everybody has been recognized at one time or another as special, one set apart from others for what they have done. Whether it was an academic achievement, a sports or dramatic accomplishment or recognition for service to your community, you have most likely had your day to shine. What if, however, no matter what you achieve, you are treated as secondary to another? How would you feel? Upset, angered, confused?

I have felt all of these emotions for much of my life, for I believe that I have never been fully recognized for who I am by certain members of my family, thankfully not my parents, but integral parts of my extended family (whom I wish I could love as I should). But because they favor my cousins, I cannot bring myself to feel this way.

Since I was small, I have been told how beautiful, intelligent and talented my cousins are. Everything they do is built up to the point that you would think they had just been elected president instead of getting two hits in a softball game. Furthermore, everything I accomplish is ignored. As an over-achiever, this bothers me the most. Once when I had won an academic award, I was told it is better to be average than exceptional. That was the last straw. My relationship with these family members has been strained, to say the least, since then and all because of favoritism.

What worries me is that I see favoritism all around me. Some teachers play favorites in class, and coaches often have a favorite player. These people are supposed to be impartial, yet they still like some more than others.

Can favoritism be avoided, or is it just a dark side of human nature, meant to make some feel good while others stand in their shadow and feel perplexed? Our Declaration of Independence guarantees that all men are created equal. That may be so, but once an acquaintance favors someone other than you, you can feel nothing but inadequate.

Favoritism is clearly wrong, yet its practice continues. As for me, I am certain that if I am ever in charge of a group, or have children myself, I will not partake in the favorites game. I know how it feels to be the one who is shunned, and while you naturally like some people more than others, it is important to recognize everyone as unique and special. ?


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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