Breaking Free | Teen Ink

Breaking Free

December 26, 2009
By fall_from_grace SILVER, Lakeside, Arizona
fall_from_grace SILVER, Lakeside, Arizona
6 articles 6 photos 56 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-Oscar Wilde
(yes, I do note the irony in quoting this)

Kurt Vonnegut asked the question, “Who is more to be pitied? An author bound and gagged by the police, or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?” The way I see it is this; an author bound by law will always have a cause and in it an outlet for her passion. She will also live in fear and anger for her entire life. That kind of anger eats at your soul and that kind of fear devours you mind. This is not a life to be envied. But an author who lives a free life without anything to say, is not free at all. The difference between the two isn’t that she lives in a dictatorship and he in a democracy, but that she has thought beyond the world she lives in and he has not. She has dared. She has questioned the status quo and found it lacking. If you put her in a free country and gave her a comfortable life, do you think she would stop writing? Never. There will always be something left for her to say, and there will forever be a battle worth fighting. Because in reality, there is no free country. There are just different kinds of slavery. And you are face with a choice; you can be like the second author and in doing so cripple your own mind, or you can be like the first author and face the world with eyes wide open and live with the scars of what you have seen. Only you can set your self free, and it is not always an easy choice to make.

There are so many people in this world who don’t care about anything. If something happens that they think seems unfair they let it go, because it never occurs to them that they could do something about it. You should let little things go, and learn to pick your fights, but never confuse deciding not to fight with being unable to. You have a great deal of power. Governments have tumbled at the determination of a single man, and a woman with conviction has changed the coarse of history. If you care enough about something, if you really decide to change things, there is very little you will not be able to do. I hate the dress code. I find it stifling. In fact, I think that dressing us in uniforms is one of the worst things you can do to a group of people who are still trying to decide who they are. Do you know why I have yet to stage a revolt? Because it doesn’t matter THAT much to me. It might to someone else though. And this someone could, if she really wanted to, start a crap load of trouble for the administration. What exactly would they do if we had a day were every person broke dress code, or organized a protest and claimed that it broke our right to self expression? I’ve got no idea what they would do, but I bet they don’t either.

You are here right now because you have chosen to be. People in authority like to think that they have power. That doesn’t even make sense. If someone is in control it is because you have allowed it, and if you stop allowing it they no longer have authority over you. If Mrs. Kult told me to do something right now and I refused what exactly could she do? Tell the Principal, and he would send me to detention, but he wouldn’t drag me there himself. And if I didn’t go, what then? I’d be suspended, but they can’t stop me from learning. The end result of all this would probably be expulsion, which sucks, but if I’m a remotely smart person I would have thought that through before I pissed off my teacher. The point is that I allow Mrs. Kult her authority over me because the I’m unwilling to risk my high school deploma, but if I had to I could take it away.

Your choices have worth. In the words of J.K. Rowling "It was the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but...there was all the difference in the world." It does make all the difference because right now, this second, you are coming closer to death. What maters is not how you die, or how long you lived, but how you make the journey. Free your mind, and fight to keep it free, and you will make choices that you can feel pride in. Know that there are battles worth fighting in this world, and know that you are strong enough to fight them. More than anything know that every time you defy the norm, or take a chance, or make a stand, in that instant you are setting yourself free.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 9 2010 at 11:31 pm
qwertyqwerty123 PLATINUM, Concord, California
28 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"prey on the old and your a coward
prey on the young and your pathetic
prey on the weak and your even weaker
prey on my friends and your history"
- fearless: payback (book 6) by francine pascal

this was really good. i've had the same sort of thoughts about authority when i'm feeling rebellious and i came to the same conclusions. i like how you made this about choices. the only other thing i have to say about this is that there is never only one choice. there's always another choice, even if that choice is creating a new choice. well done!