Posted: February 14, 2011 in English G10

Every day we wake up, put our clothes on, go to school, come home, do our homework, and go to sleep.  Every day we do exactly what we’re told.  Every day, we follow society’s plan for us.  All aspects of our lives are controlled by this plan.  From the foods we eat to the clothes we wear.  It seems as though we’ve all completely lost our ability to make our own choices.  Conformity is a word often used to describe Japanese culture.  But the level of conformity that I can see RIGHT now in this room goes way beyond culture.

How many of you hated Michael Jackson and called him a pedophile before he died?  And immediately after his death, how many of you started proclaiming him to be the greatest pop musician ever?  Just make up your minds!  Don’t say one thing about someone and then, as soon as it’s popular, say the exact opposite!  If you like something unpopular, don’t be afraid to admit it!  If you hate something popular, just say it!  For example, I hate rap.  It’s only 1 letter away from crap.  I don’t care if it’s popular.  I dislike it.  If there’s something that you genuinely like that happens to be popular, by all means enjoy yourself.  The Suite Life of Zack and Cody is one of the most imaginative and greatest shows ever.  Period.

Those of you who aren’t making your own decisions are only living to die.  For every life, there should be a purpose.  Even if that purpose is only to enjoy yourself while you’re here, I guarantee it that things are more enjoyable if you’ve elected to do them rather than been told to them.  Don’t waste your life.  If the meaning of your life is something as trivial as enjoying early 1900’s ragtime music, then for God’s sake, smash all of your Bieber merchandise and pop in some ragtime!

You may be criticized for what you’ve chosen to do, but let’s face it.  Who gets remembered in history?  Cutting edge innovators, or sheeple?  Socrates, Jesus, and Led Zeppelin all went against the ideas of their times.  They all presented themselves as a unique alternatives for everyday life.  Do you think when Socrates was told that he must either conform to societies ideals or perish, he hesitated for a second?  No!  Socrates was a free-thinker.  Socrates was a risk-taker.  But most of all, Socrates was his own man.  He proposed ideas and was eventually prosecuted for them.  As was Jesus, and Led – oh no, never mind, Led Zeppelin was met with massive commercial success.  The point being, sometimes when you try something new, you’ll find a personal reward, other times, everyone will love you for it!  If you’re doing what you love, it shouldn’t matter.  Just take a risk with some things.  Who knows how it’ll turn out?  I know I don’t!  I know you don’t!  Nobody does!

When you do something, don’t for a second think what anybody else will think of you.  I don’t.  I know what many of you are thinking – “Of course, maybe that’s why I hate him.”  But do I look like I care?  I may cry at home in my bedroom, but do I look like it?  Maybe a little bit.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that YOU won’t care.  You will live your life with no regrets.  It’s been said that in life you regret more what you didn’t do than what you did do.  So, what have you got to lose?  Nothing!  So, pick something you truly want to do.  I don’t care what it is.  It’s no ones business what you do.  And just do it.  After school today.  Just go out, and do whatever you want.

I’d like to place heavy emphasis on the “whatever you want” part.  Don’t go out and do whatever you think might be cool.  Build a model airplane, fly a kite, play Chutes and Ladders.  I’ve seen people who do things simply because they think they’re cool.  An idea I’ve once heard was the simple pondering of what – if such an individual were stranded on a desert island, with access to unlimited entertainment, but no form of communication, would they like?   My personal opinion is that, they’d have lost all forms of autonomy by the point and would quickly be reduced to insanity.  If someone had learned to like things on their own, they would have an excellent time.  They’d watch movies that they thought were excellent stories, listen to music that really speaks to them, and read books that aren’t about vampires.

I hope that maybe, just maybe, at least one of you has listened to what I had to say.  Perhaps just one of the people in here feels like unplugging themselves from the machine of modern society.  The only person that matters is you.  So go ahead and be that one person.


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