Age Group 16-18
These Chains of Habit...
by Tessa Somers, age 16
Chains of habit... A long, long time ago, society created them,
and unwittingly set the trap in which we are suffering today. Our
hands are tied, and our lips are sealed, for we are born to the
chains, raised in them, and die in them. What, you ask, exactly are
these chains of habit? They are, simply put, entwined about the very
structure of society today. In today's society, people are not free.
People are not encouraged to think for themselves, and though this is
sometimes difficult to recognize, it is true. Just ask one question
of yourself: who am I?
It is a difficult question, isn't it? Oh, yes, it certainly is
very easily answered with a name, or gender, or perhaps even a family
background. However, that is not what the question is asking. It
delves far deeper into the subconscious of the mind, prodding where
it is uninvited and, as our chains of habit would have it, unwelcome.
There is a certain part of our minds that is usually off limits to
everyone, ourselves included. From very early in life, the doors to
these places have been locked. These areas of the mind and heart are
the places that, if explored, create complete happiness the person
who dares to open them. Although there can be no single, exact
description of the free heart and mind, it is most certainly very
different from anything else known to society. When touched, new and
brilliant thoughts and feelings will pour forth, illuminating all
that there is of dark and fear in the world.
To address the problem, however, we must first identify it. A name
may serve very well to give us a sense of direction in our quest for
liberty. Our bondage, our chains of habit, are the very threads that
make up the fabric of society. At home, our parents tell us not to
talk to strangers, and we now fear walking anywhere alone. We cannot
trust our fellow mankind. At school, children are taught to conform,
taught to limit their ideas, taught to abhor learning. It is a
vicious cycle of fear and hate. To stop it, we must break a link from
the chains of our bondage. We must grab hold somewhere, and save the
generations to come from the fate we now endure.
Where to begin? Though it would be nice to begin in the home, it
would also be very unrealistic; as soon as the children get into
school, they are stripped of much liberty. The new learning, the
liberation, must begin in the schools of the world. Every child must
be given the chance to be completely different, and unafraid to be
so. Throughout history, the most remarkable people were those who
dared to be exactly who they were, without fear, without inhibitions.
The children of the world must also be taught that learning is a
great gift. They must never be lead to believe that learning is a
burden. Neither shall they be treated without respect; children are
just as much a part of life as adults, and are, after all, the very
future of the world. Children are some of the few people in the world
that truly know the meaning of innocence. Through better schooling,
innocence may be preserved, and youthful vision forever accessible.
One person alone cannot change the world. Perhaps the chains of
habit are growing too strong for anyone to break. As long as anyone
can still see the light, however, feel the pull on their heart as
they are inspired, there is still hope. Now, as I gaze out the
window, into the great, open blue sky, I can feel it. I feel the hope
that someday, I will be brave... I will be satisfied... I will be