Be You. | Teen Ink

Be You.

July 10, 2011
By ArgonElement SILVER, The Woodlands, Texas
ArgonElement SILVER, The Woodlands, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
Question Authority.

There are people, who roam our halls, laughing and talking. They look happy, and united, and... just alike. They smile their straight white smiles, and smooth their lovely hair. They look perfect and show... that on the inside they are too. But, perfection is never attainable. Look through their facades, and what do you see? Someone looks casually cool, but who in reality is trying too hard? Someone who looks confident, but in reality is obsessed with their insecurities?

What lurks behind their masks of fearless popularity?

Look through a crowd of teens. Do you see the eager openness of a preschool class room, still evident in any of their faces? Or do you see a haze of practiced carelessness, which in our society is a norm on adolescent faces?

If you see, even one enthusiastic, pure face amongst the rehearsed scowls, there is hope for our generation’s future.

When children go to private schools, they wear uniforms. There is much opposition to them. Children should express themselves. But, look around you. How many people are truly expressing themselves? How many look the same? Almost as if they are in uniform?

The only difference is that for private schools, authority figures force certain clothes. For public, your fear of being an outcast forces you.

You get crushed from that bright, open personality that you have as a four year old, into a shell that on the outside looks like everyone else, but hides unwanted originality inside.

One day of freedom. That is all I ask of you. Be yourself. Flip yourself inside out, smother your falseness with your true being. Jerk the string of the puppeteer who controls you and take back your personality. The conversations you have with yourself; have them with another human being. Just for a day, be the four year old in you.

The author's comments:
This poem by a teen in Alton, Illinois. He turned it into his teacher before he commited suicide.

He always wanted to explain things,
but no one cared,
So he drew.
Sometimes he would just draw,
and it wasn't anything.
He wanted to carve it in stone or write it in the sky.
He would lie out on the grass and look up in the sky, and it would be only the sky and all the things inside him that needed saying.
And it was after that that he drew the picture.
It was a beautiful picture.
He kept it under his pillow and would let no one see it.
And he would look at it every night and think about it.
And when it was dark and his eyes were closed he could see it still.
And it was all of him and he loved it.
When he started school he brought it with him,
Not to show anyone, but just to have it with him like a friend.
It was funny about school.
He sat in a square, brown desk like all the other square desks and he thought it should be red.
And his room was a square brown room, like all the other rooms.
And it was tight and close. And stiff.
He hated to hold the pencil and chalk, with his arm stiff and his feet
flat on the floor, stiff, with the teacher watching and watching.

The teacher came and spoke to him.
She told him to wear a tie like all the other boys.
He said he didn't like them, and she said it didn't matter.
After that they drew.
And he drew all yellow, and it was the way he felt about morning.
And it was beautiful.
The teacher came and smiled at him. "What's this?" she said.
"Why don't you draw something like Ken's drawing? Isn't it beautiful?"
After that his mother bought him a tie and he always drew airplanes and rocket ships like everyone else.
And he threw the old picture away.
And when he lay out alone looking at the sky, it was big and blue, and all of everything,
but he wasn't anymore.
He was square and brown inside and his hands were stiff.
And he was like everyone else. And all the things inside him that needed saying,
didn't need it anymore.
It had stopped pushing. It was crushed.
Like everything else.

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