My Favorite Shirt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 19, 2008
Love. It’s a simple but overused word. I love you. I love this song! I absolutely loved that movie! The word doesn’t mean much anymore, not to most. Some people scoff at it. We throw it around like a used shirt, wearing it because it’s comfortable, safe, and secure, but never truly understanding why we have it. We lend it out, forget about it, and years later, we think, “Hey, I really liked that shirt.”

But do we care? No. It’s probably gone now, thrown away because of a rip or sold for $3 at a garage sale. We forget; it doesn’t matter after that.

Then we see the world fall apart. From the safety of our living rooms we watch amateur video on the news or Internet, and sometimes we feel so helpless and alone we’re not sure what to do. We cry for the inhumanity, scream for the injustice, and wonder why the world is this way. We think we can change the world; we know we want to help those who need it most … then we remember that T-shirt we threw out years ago.

We want it back; we fight and scramble for it. We go out and buy new shirts, try them on, but none seems to fit. We’ve lost it – we’ve lost love. We are unnerved for a bit; we sit alone and beat ourselves up for letting it go. Then we just we shrug it off. We say, “I’ll do it later” or “I’m too busy.” I’m guilty of it too: “I don’t have the right resources” or “I’m too young” or “No one will care.” And it seems as if no one does. With high school students only bent on the next party or who’s dating whom, you wonder if, in the end, their shirts were ever worn.

Is my generation going to save the world? We try, a small group of us, but our shirts are faded among the bright colors of greed and the everyday and the wanting. We are pushed into the background. We try to push our way through the crowds, and we truly wonder: where has the love gone?

I don’t want my love to fade; though my shirt is tattered and worn, I wear it daily. I am honest and open, and when I say that simple, dead, four-letter word, I mean it. I know I’ve made mistakes with it in the past and I almost threw my shirt away; I carry it carefully now. It’s close to my heart, where it’s meant to be. I do lend it out every once in a while – I let those who need it try it on and feel the safety that I feel. I leave them pieces when I go, but my shirt never seems to tear. It stays just as simple as it ever was.

When the time comes, I will stand alone in this world and stare into the eyes of those with the shirts of greed and want and lust, and I will know that even though mine is not the most beautiful shirt in the crowd, it’s among the best.

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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This article has 252 comments. Post your own now!

squalur996 said...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm
i absolutly loved this!! I try creating good analogies but they always seem so so.  great job on yours!
eehearn2011 said...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 11:59 am
loved this piece of work! :)
Im50tyson said...
Oct. 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm
I understand and can relate to this.
Kkrazy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 8:36 pm
Wow. that was amazing, inspirational, and so true! i love this piece, and i think its my favorite so far on this site. keep up the good work.
rose said...
Oct. 15, 2010 at 2:01 pm
I think this is true. . nowadays everyone wants to be loved so they give their love to easy. .and want the same amount back. .and when they lose it they want it back but know its to late
thoughtsinmyhead said...
Oct. 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm
This was amazing!! I completley agree. People give out there love to easily these days then have nothing to give to "the one." I believe that with every person you say you love, a piece of your heart goes with them. I think we need to give out our love to the ones who we truly mean it to and people we honestly deeply care about. I loved this article. good job!
Arye A. said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm
Completely amazing article! Your insights are brilliant, and I have to say that I really admire your writing style. Awesome work!
Spazzmine said...
Oct. 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm
I seriously loved this and understood it completely :) Nice job :D
rachelle said...
Sept. 26, 2010 at 6:36 pm
very good work :) i really enjoi reading this story.
WiseChild said...
Sept. 25, 2010 at 7:03 am

I absolutely agree with you. i am probably what they'd call a 'goody two shoes' or a 'sissy' or a 'wimp' or a couple of otherr names i would never repeat. but you know, i've tried being one of the 'bad' girls. i've worn their bright colored t-shirts to find out what made them shine so much. and i realized it was all on the outside. without anyhting to fill a person, what's the use of a great looking shirt?

so i keep on beliving in a love that never dies, in a truth that never fails, in... (more »)

numeg123 replied...
Nov. 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm
wooooow! deep, but cool and inspiring. i like it :).
nikkigonefishin said...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 10:01 pm
I like how u used the t-shirt to symbolize love and its meaning. its truly an amzing piece of work :]
Macx14 said...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm
Such a strong and true point, and a great example to make it!!KEEP WRITING!!!
Mmbusch This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 11:58 pm

SO good! This piece is amazing and definitely my favorite on Teen Ink. How old are you?? (Rhetorical) You seem ages old with wisdom! 

:) I really really liked this. I will be going back and reading it again. 

Lostonaplanet said...
Sept. 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm
I love the way this is written and the metaphor! Amazing work! :)
Phantom_Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm
Fantatstic metaphor! You really are an excellent writer!
NiaraStorm said...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm

This is really great...I do (truly) love this and you are a very inspirational writer. This reminds me of one of my favorite Nicholas Sparks quotes:

"Love is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day." - Nicholas Sparks

amybug said...
Aug. 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm
Wow, this really changed my whole persepective on the word. I never really thought about it, but now I will. You are an amazing writer!
br123 said...
Aug. 15, 2010 at 10:35 pm
I disagree that the word "love" is dead. Love is not gone either. People still have happy and loving relationships with boyfriends and husbands. Also, the world is not going to end because one teenager says to another that they love each other. It's all teenagers trying to figure out what love is. And once they realize that maybe what they felt in ninth grade isn't the same as what they felt when they were married. Love can mean a number of things, and sometimes kids say things they don't mean. ... (more »)
red-head replied...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm
hey, yea I agree with br123. The word love means different things, I mean you don't give the same love to all people after all really we never give the same type of love twice! I really liked the opinion it was well writen and I liked concept! :)  
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