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Apathy: Scourge Of Our Generation This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As I glance around school these bleak March days, I am struck with the looks of apathy and contempt I see on so many faces. Kids just simply going through the motions of learning, of maturing, of growing. In going to their next class, they sprint up to one of their friends and say something like "Oh, did Mrs. So-and-So assign much homework today. She's such a jerk for always giving so much," or even more commonly, "Hey let's go over to so-and-so house tonight and get smashed." Don't get me wrong, I have never been a lover of homework, but all people seem to care about is their own little social circles and the melodramas currently going on in them.

I see people run to certain lockers right after a bell so they can catch up on all the important gossip: who's going out with whom, who scooped on whom, the house where the next party's at, etc., etc. People are so wrapped up in their own small worlds they fail to notice other things going on around them. Jack seeing Becky becomes more important than the decimation of our school system. The fact that Jan dumped Lou becomes more important than thousands dying for democracy or the raping of our environment. Again, I have also been known to worry about my social life, but never to the extent where I forgot about real life.

It's time for people to wake up. Mommy and Daddy aren't going to be there in a few years to spoon feed you, you'll have to survive on your own. Blow off school and you could become very familiar with a Texaco sign. It's all well and good to talk about the car you're going to buy right out of school, but it isn't going to happen without some effort. Life is a cause-and-effect relationship; you do one thing and something happens because of that choice. If you choose to laugh off your education, that's your decision, but be prepared for the effect it will have.

It's time for people to start to care, not just about their own cliques but about the world at large. Next time you go into Boston to buy your clothes, take a look around at the homeless. And what are the privileged kids doing about this awful treatment of a nation's own citizens? By and large, nothing. The next election that rolls around (November, by the way), see how many of your parents don't bother to vote. And then think of the thousands gunned down in Tianamen Square for simply requesting the right that so many choose to ignore. Even closer to home, think of the cuts to the town budget. Think of that teacher you happened to like or appreciate, who is now out of a job. Think of that course you wanted to take, but you can't because there is no one to teach it and no money for materials. Think of the $50 dollars you may have to pay (or did pay) to play a sport. And if there's no override this year, it will only get worse.

It's time for some activism from the student body. How many students helped fight for the override last year? Not too many. Narrow that down to how many students helped fight for the override for an extended period of time, and even less is the answer. How many students are going to Beacon Hill to protest the lack of state funding? How many students asked their parents to vote for the override? Perhaps a half dozen. This is disgraceful from the group that can be so talkative about Bob's new girlfriend. Now is the time to act, for if we don't stand up for our rights (and yes even students have rights), then who will?

Get involved; take on a little responsibility; think about the future. And don't do it because you think your parents would want you to. Do it for yourself, and do it because it's right.n






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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CalebG91 said...
Apr. 22, 2009 at 12:34 am
Hey Josh Great work here. It does get a little rediculous listening to everyone's story about their weekends
 
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