Stale Content Alert!
This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.
Dear Disaffected Youth of America:
What haunts you?
I see you every day, walking down the street in your heavy black jackets or your baggy skater clothes. I’ve watched you angrily kick over the sign of a local business simply because it was nearby. You’ve shouted at my car, “What the fuck are you looking at?” when I took a look at you to see if I recognized you. You’ve tried to break into my theatre department late at night, and almost succeeded.
So what haunts you?
There was a time, when you were little, when you accepted the sanctity of the beliefs and belongings of others. You decried the injustice you saw, with the canny eyes of childhood. If someone was being picked on, you realized it wasn’t fair, and you spoke up, because you knew it wasn’t right to cause grief to others.
I ask you, what changed? What drove you to where you are now, angry at the world and eager to take it out on anyone and anything? What ground your respect for others into the dirt? Why, today, do you so eagerly cause the grief that you once spoke out against?
What haunts you?
Tell me “a cruel world” and I’ll laugh at you. The only thing making the world cruel are the people in it who prey on others, as you are doing now. You cannot honestly complain about those making your life miserable and then go muck things up for someone else. Or else, if you can, you are dreadfully out of touch with reality.
I ask you again, what haunts you? What drives you to these random acts of anger? Why do you feel that you are justified in releasing your inner problems by destroying the worlds of others?
I will not claim that the world is fair, nor will I make the naïve suggestion to “look on the brighter side”. I know despair, and I know depression, and I know anger; and I know that there are times in your life when the brighter side is eclipsed by an umbra so deep that it makes optimism a fool’s game. But I also know that acts of fear only inspire more acts of fear, until someone recognizes the progression and stops it with their own self. What haunts you, drives you so rabid with fear that you seek to inspire it in others? This I want to know.
I will say this: Your wanton abuse of that which others cherish is incredibly disappointing. You are part of a larger world now; you have the capacity to make changes and compromises without resorting to intimidation or barbaric destruction. It is time that you understood the world outside of your own bubble, and showed some respect for those who inhabit it– because life is more than what happens to you.
Pick your heads up and show some respect for the world you live in, as well as the people you share it with.