This is my America. It lost its value.
I lost my value.
I don’t blame the generations that came before mine. They are full of men and women just like me. The mistakes they made will line up with those that my generation will make in the unbreakable chain of history. Instead, I thank the generations before me for the rights they stood up and fought for. I thank them for the chances they took and the principles they founded. But, still, I see in them just how much I’ve lost.
The perils of my society and my generation were created by the actions of my forefathers and foremothers. Life-saving blood is now jeopardized by an epidemic past generations created through heinous sexual gluttony. Family has been broken over the convenience of the individual, and the resulting shattered lives have shaken the core of my society. Children have become parents, and parents have acted like children. Gender stereotypes have protected secret sin. Abuse, gluttony, and judgement have led to a generation of confusion where gender stereotypes cannot be broken without the confusion of gender orientation. Where, in past generations, middle schoolers have been victims of broken homes and witnesses to infidelity, now, they are encouraged to pick a gender for themselves out of a roulette of hundreds.
Of course suicide, anxiety, and depression rise in a society were a child has to choose a sexual orientation, identity, and partner while completing puberty. Of course we suffer in a cloud of self-loathing when we are taught that our souls are strictly mortal and weigh less in our society than backless paper money.
In generations past, they were taught a theory about a world created by a giant bang and life drawn out of slime. Now, children are told they are only a mutation in the universe with no intentional point for living. They come unwanted from broken families, neglectful parents, and abusive relationships. Circumstances deem them irrelevant and so does their origin, taught no longer as theory but as fact.
In a world where drugs have promised such escape and ruined so much, we legalize them. To stop our society from hemorrhaging depressed teenagers, we offer our citizens a way to murder their children before the infant’s face sees the light of day.
We fight the opioid epidemic with one hand, and legalize drugs with the other. We pour money over AIDS while celebrating the same sexual activity that insights it. Instead of having compassion on the poor that we can help, we turn hate on the one percent. Instead of seeking out a better education system and protection system, we defund them. We treat the election like a Miss America contest and then we riot when the “contest” does not go our way.
Where past generations fought for judgement to be based on character and not color, we stumbled and started pouring money and apologies on the equality issue instead of applying authentic compassion and cooperation. We faced oppression and injustice with anger and violence instead of courage and wisdom.
I live in a world where the family is rare and fragile. My gender is my choice but my body is a million-year mutation. My beliefs are persecuted if they do not accommodate the preferences of everyone else. My money is taken for child murder.
In my America, my senior year was stolen due to governmental upheaval.
I live in a world where my generation cannot sign its name. Our boys are steeped in pornography, and our girls feel the need to forfeit more and more of themselves to get a boy’s attention and keep it. In my world, bad gender stereotypes are enforced to the point that good attributes call a person’s gender orientation into question. A girl cannot cut her hair without being questioned as lesbian, and a boy cannot be emotional aware without being viewed as gay. In my America, it is easier for a teenager to take a gun to school than to take a Bible. Where I live, racial division is excited for the profit it can bring. Where I come from, being white is an insult—something to apologize for. Here and now, my vote does not count.
I do not want to live in that world anymore.
But I know drugs and guns cannot solve my problem.
I want to live in a world where I am not ostracized for or defined by my beliefs. I want to live in a world where American subcultures are not enabled or exploited but equipped, where equality is not preached but practiced. I want to live in a world where decisions are made on character--a world where character is taught, protected, and encouraged. In my dream world, boys can touch their face, cross their legs, and show empathy without being ridiculed as less of a man or called out as not heterosexual. I want a world where girls can cut their hair and wear practical, comfortable clothes that don’t hyper-sexualize them, a world where they can take up space and voice their opinion without being degraded as less attractive or less feminine. I want a world where religion is a personal choice, protected but not mandated. I want a world where our government employees are trained well, perform well, and are respected based on their performance. I want a world where purity and faithfulness provide safety for our children and our relationships. I see a world where education and religion hold a higher value than money. There, votes and offices are a sacred duty. In that society, past sins are remembered so as not to be repeated, but not held over the heads of new generations. In that world, every culture can be celebrated, and every person carries intrinsic value, not based on their identity or performance. I want a world where we stop calling ourselves mistakes and start living intentionally.
I cannot make that world, and it grieves me.
But I can make positive changes for my future and the future of my generation. Where past generations chose violence and accusation, I choose peace and consideration. Where they chose ignorance, I choose education. Instead of corruption and division, I choose honest unity. For their hate, I choose compassion; for their neglect, I choose vigilance; for their gluttony, I choose charity.
In my world, wanting a better life for myself means wanting the same for everyone else.
In spite of a world that devalues everything I am, I choose to live intentionally. I choose to be as valiant, humble, and kind as I can, to give my children a better world than I was given. I choose to see the value in others and myself, and I choose to act in a way that reflects that value.