We are Discreet Sheep

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It was a normal day. A day like any other. As the school bell rang and students burst through the doors, I took my time, savoring the silence left behind in the empty halls. I stepped outside and faced swarms of post pubescent children, rushing towards their cars, bikes, or otherwise means of transportation. Some stopped to socialize. Others neglected the masses, fleeing campus like hunted criminals. I found myself at the head of the school, perched upon a low wall, hidden among a mass of underclassmen and a select number of juniors who had yet to gain access to the roads. Scanning the crowd, I spotted a rather large group of upperclassmen. They chatted effortlessly with one another, of things too important to be shared with the public. Words spilled from swift lips, flowing through the air and settling at our feet. They played their parts with no discretion, save for the sideways glances they tried so hard to conceal. Before long, their over exaggerated gestures came to hold the consistency of well practiced jazz routines. Their conversations were no longer that of an artless sincerity. Soon, poised personas turned to forced laughs, their smiles insincere. Conversation strained and one by one, students detached themselves from the group, their faces slowly regaining consciousness as they found their way back into cognizance.
I was once in their position— but yet, I quite frequently find myself falling within these same circumstances, regardless of my struggles. One cannot be blamed for renouncing their character, not when they reside in such a place as we do now. We subsist among a group of people who spend the vast majority of their lives doing things they detest, to make money they do not want, to impress the people they do not like. Our mere existence has become that of pleasing others. Others who are not aware of the fact that we are indeed seeking their approval.
When I was young, my mother taught me to use creativity as a way to stand out. In my mind I considered the possibilities, but when I was forced onto the world, my inadequate perception of reality failed to see the beauty in individuality. It was not until I discovered that to be in the possession of such quality, gave one opportunities that would not have existed otherwise, did I begin to assume my disposition.
Although has been said, that through the eyes of babes, the truth is seen, if reality has been molded, stretched, and prodded, one cannot blame a child for choosing what they deem acceptable by their society. From the beginning we are pushed to blend in, and conform to the molds of our peers. The very yearning for acceptance, forced my personality underwater. A quiet child was never expected to have opinions, or even preferences. They are simply expected to do what they are told. I did what I was told, as did many of my classmates – the very same classmates that continuously flock to school quads, malls, and coffee shops.
Before my brother left for college, he had assumed the role of my daily chauffeur, to and from. It was a rare occasion when silence resided in our car. Music was always blaring, floating through A.C. vents, and spilling out the exhaust pipe. On the select days when I was not to be in charge of our auditory accompaniment, it is fair to say that my mood was not the best as I strode into the great hall that is Dana Hills. I am sad to say that as many things as my brother and I have in common, our musical preferences are as much the same as a foot is to a hand. Our car would near the parking lot, and heads would turn, as my mine unintentionally lowered. Sound gushed from our windows pooling on the uneven ground. Dismayed as I was, my brother would stroll into school, unaware that anything significant had come to pass.
I am not my brother. I am not in the least. To stroll through that parking lot, to wander past my peers, unashamed would be a monumental feat. Yet he does it with such an untailored jaunt. I cannot help to be but envious.
As I walk past these sad faces, day in and day out, I have come to realize that we cannot truly escape the conformity expected from us. We are discreet sheep, forever pursing interests not of our own, but that of the flock. Never shall we be authentic, only sincere to a point at most. Most anticipate at least some originality from all, but how can we foresee such novelty, when we ourselves have been lived a hundred times over.





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