Nothing is allowed to be genuine. It’s a hidden rule in high school; the unspoken code breathed in by the student populace and locked like a band around their heads. Nothing genuine. It doesn't matter what lies in your heart, it matters how many parties you went to last year. How drunk you got at Matt's house. That's what makes you acceptable. If everyone sees you as unremarkable, the same facade of the person you truly are that they share, then you are safe. Step out of that line, show something sincere and you've invited trouble. If you act different, if you admit you've never had sex before, or that you don't drink at parties, you've broken the cardinal rule. You've become brighter, better. But that brightness in you serves to reveal the lack thereof in your peers. That won't do, you can't be better. So that brightness becomes a giant target sign mounted on your head, and that sincerity is viewed as a weakness. Dare to be too different and you'll be crushed, made an example of. If everyone is grey, then no one needs to worry about the quality of their real character. Humiliate the threat to the status quo, shut them out and make them see that by being themselves and not the uniform personality prescribed them, all they will get for their troubles is suffering. With these cunning psychological weapons, the mass student body can work like the ocean against the jetties, steadily wearing down the firm belief till all that’s left is a pebble on the shore, just like every other pebble around it. The challenge therefore, is to maintain a steadfastness of character, a devotion to your ideals strong enough to withstand constant barrages from those threatened by your individuality. It requires the ability to be remarkable. No mean feat. In a world looking for drones obedient to trends and tabloids, a courageousness of character, the binding of one’s life to one’s morals, is far rarer than diamonds or oil. Sincerity is a fast fading resource as precious as fossil fuels but no one seems to notice our disturbing lack of it. Life is not a competition, winners and losers. Life is the one way journey in which you experience all you can, give all the love you possess, take all the advice you can, and figure out who you are and what you stand for before it’s too late. Once you know who you are you must avow yourself to say true to the brilliance that lies inside each person and allow that brilliance to shine through all your life. Life is remarkable. So too should be the ones living it.
July 20, 2012