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The Importance of Expression

When I was around twelve or thirteen, my mom told me three things that you never talk about with strangers religion, politics, and sex. Back then, I just accepted this like any other mandate that a loving mother passes to protect her child. However, my sixteen year old mind views things a bit differently. I ask myself why would we avoid the most important aspects of our lives? Shouldn't we be challenging ourselves to question the most important and difficult questions we will ever face in our lives?
Thousands of years ago when Pluto, Aristotle, and Socrates questioned their origin and their views of life they were revered and people honored there ability to question themselves and the world as they knew it. It seems that now society has taught people to live in fear of expression of their beliefs. The only people who truly express themselves are the artists, writers, and poets of our time and society reprimands them for expressing their beliefs by shunning them and making them outcasts. If you walk about to anyone and tell them you want to major in English or creative writing they will probably laugh at you and mock your naivety.
The society we currently live in has no need for personal beliefs; it values fact and a purely objective view of life. Just think of the last time you were asked about your personal beliefs in school or your specific interpretation of a subject. The fact of the matter is that society has ingrained in each and everyone of us an innate view that the only thing that matters is the grade we get on a test or how well we do on our final exams.
I remember a few years ago I had to hand in a project for one of my teachers. I put in a superfluous amount of effort and I was sure that I would receive a perfect score. However, the morning it was due I left my project at home. I felt an overwhelming and vexing fear because I knew that this teacher did not except late work under any circumstances. I pleaded with the teacher the next day to accept what was in my eyes a perfectly constructed project. The teacher would not accept it. And on that day, something inside of me changed. My effort and my own abilities no longer seemed to be what teachers were looking for, but instead I realized meeting deadlines and studying fact after fact was really the way to succeed in society.
The people who are able to see the constraints of society are often are often trapped transcending the state of conforming with society while still being able to live with the own romantic view of how the world should be. The truth is you have probably never heard of a wealthy artist or poet. They all die poor and without any recognition for there work. It is only after when we are finally able to interpret their views which were so far ahead of there time that we can truly appreciate their brilliance.
Now, I know the average person may completely disregard the message that I am trying to bring to light here, but those who might be trapped in an internal conflict between the decision of conforming with society or being brave enough to express their own unique opinions might take comfort in knowing that the opinions that we all share should be valued, treasured, and expressed with the upmost resolve. Sometimes "the reward of a thing well done is to have done it." No amount of monetary gain or any similar reward can ever match the personal growth and pride in yourself when you change the world in the simplest of ways by fostering your own opinions through any form of expression.



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