I Through Thoughts at Paper, Words Made Them Stick

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 21:38 -- JLanham

I threw thoughts at paper, words made them stick.

The world is irreparably  broken.  Neither I nor anyone else can really save such a dying civilization, can they? I’d really like to think someone could but hope is absolutely futile, if not dangerous, in our world today. It really only lifts us up so we can fall harder.

My teachers, friends, and mother all try to correct me and tell me that the world we live in really is a good place by saying things like “look there’s a little girl having her first ice cream cone. Isn’t that a special moment? See the world is good!” And I, being a feeble minded teenager, am expected to skip off “tra la la la la” and never give another thought to it.

But I don’t want to live a consistently miserable life with rare, special occasion or happy moments! Why do we all fight every day to carve out our existence when life is so broken, so irreparable, that there’s really no point, is there? If there isn’t then well, we can all put bullets in our heads and nothing would matter right? Furthermore, even those good moments are stained with someone else’s tears are they not? Isn’t there another little girl, just as adorable, innocent and worthy of ice cream as the one in my example, who is being beaten, raped, and starved to death? How can we really enjoy anything in our miserable, privileged, first world lives while millions of people suffer every second?

I know what I am. I’m a spoiled rotten teenager living in twenty first century America. I know nothing about the world really. I’m being melodramatic and this paper probably isn’t worth anyone’s time in reading. The challenge was simply to write something I care deeply about, and even if I am melodramatic THIS is what I care about. Life, wondering, staying up all night pacing, crying, and thinking about it. I care about learning, not the kind of learning that goes on in a public high school, but learning about the world as a whole. Most importantly, I want to learn how to fix it, or if that’s even a possibility. Maybe it’s not even worth fixing.  

In all reality it wouldn’t make a huge difference to our world if I died right now. I have done essentially nothing with my life thus far. I’d like to think I’m meant for great things; that my death would matter because I wouldn’t be around to accomplish anything, but how much stock can I really place on my future? For that matter, in the grand scheme of things, couldn’t our sun explode and every living thing on earth be completely gone in mere minutes, and absolutely nothing would change outside our infinitesimally small solar system?

I apologize; I’m asking more questions than I’m giving answers. I think that’s because, honestly, I don’t have any. I have virtually no life experiences to teach me anything, all I’ve done is pace, cry, and wonder about the world, and try my best to learn about it.

Being human is a selfish endeavor. As a species we probably use the word “I” most.  I (there it is again) am an incredibly selfish person, being a teenage girl I think it’s ingrained in my current personality type. I would like to be selfless and make the world a better place for everyone. I could start volunteering more, build shelters for my community’s homeless, or something even bigger. Something along the lines of, providing clean drinking water to every single human being on the planet, ending all horrid acts in warfare, or maybe something even bigger then that.

I would really like to do at least one of these things in the near future, and all the rest later in life, however if the last 15 years of my existence are any indication, I won’t do anything. Placing stock in the future would be a great thing for me to do, but my past doesn’t back it up. If I don’t wind up doing anything truly important with my life, I really should just stop wasting oxygen right now.

I think John Green said all that I’m trying to say here best in 2008 in An Abundance of Katherine’s “What’s the point of being alive if you’re not going to at least try to do something amazing?” My point in this paper can very well be summarized by that. We’re given one chance on this earth to do all that we can do to make it a better place. I would just like for my life to earn me the right to have had it.


Thank you very much for reading my poem,

                                    Janelle K. Lanham


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741