I Was Never Alone This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
     I find myself lost in an overwhelming mosaic of teenage angst in alonely suburban high school where creativity is limited and conformity is embraced. Struggling frombeneath the fallen tree of education, I sadly have to say that my peers and I have learned nothingof importance. Disgust drips from lockers and hatred seeps from underneath bleachers, and Ican’t help but feel so alone.

I would kill to get out of this town. I am counting theseconds until I can leave. The hysteria of the world has me scared of what tomorrow may bring but Iam willing to give the world as many challenges as it gives me. I am not giving up. I am not givingin.

The people of this country with closed minds and empty hearts have not gained control ofmy mind and apparently I was never alone. From decaying branches, tiny shoots of hope arise. An adin our school newspaper has triggered these feelings that have not been voiced for too long. The adwas an anti-recruitment, anti-Army, anti-war ad. It was encouraging others to think twice beforejoining the Army and pointing out that there are other ways to serve your country. It was not avicious, angry, loud act, it was quietly peaceful and approved by the newspaper advisor. Manystudents, parents and townspeople, however, were enraged. They felt the ad was disrespectful,anti-American and immoral.

Why can they place military recruiters with a “Sign UpNow” sheet next to the cafeteria and we can’t voice a counter opinion in our newspaper?We are not rioting, we are not disturbing anyone. We are putting our opinion in our newspaper, aplace where we are supposed to express ourselves. It makes me feel that I have learned nothing ofvalue in all my years.

All the lessons teachers pound into our heads, all the things Ithought were truly important ... apparently aren’t. They talk about standing up for yourrights, to do what you think is right though others may think it wrong, like Martin Luther King,Jr. and Alice Paul (who fought for women’s right to vote). They taught us to believe inourselves and never give up, like Anne Frank and Gandhi. Some taught us to write from our heartslike Alice Walker. They taught us history so that it won’t repeat. This will not be anotherVietnam, but it’s scary how close it feels we are coming to that. Too many war stories havepoisoned our nightmares and too many tears have been shed. They do not let us put into action theprinciples they’ve taught us. It’s hypocritical, it’s wrong, and now is the timeto say something.

Does anyone else see how ironic it is, how we are supposedly fighting sopeople can be free in Iraq while we are denied our first amendment rights? We have a right and weare saying what we feel. This is our world too and if we can’t voice our opinions thanAmerica really is the biggest lie in history. After all these years of feeling alone in my beliefs,I am more than thrilled to see that I am not. We won’t be quiet any longer. And I havesomething to say to my high school: You can try all you want to control the thoughts in our heads,the words in our mouths, and even the words on our papers ... but you will never silenceour hearts.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback