The bog of modern society

Andrew - Pleasant Grove, Utah
Entered on March 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

The dictionary’s definition of the word Bog is used as both a noun and a verb. The verb form of Bog means to cause to sink into or as if into a bog, and to become impeded or stuck—usually used with down. The ancient peat bogs were used for many things: Recently, scientists have been finding preserved humans in bogs around the world: Britain, Ireland, northern Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, southern Sweden, and more importantly, my junior high. I believe that teenagers live in a peat bog of infinite conformity.

In a teenager’s life, there are incalculable factors that determine your social status and your school-wide prestige. These variables are too inconsistent and ever-changing for most kids to handle. The result of the stress: groups of clueless conforming children which evolve into one distinct and universal persona. Once the effects of conformity sink into a teen’s mind, it is impossible to entirely erase its stain. I write these words because they are what I must attempt to endure through every day. My closest friends frequently drift away from the group because of their attempts to become “cool” or “popular.” As they slowly sink in, they make an exchange: a true identity for a mask which will momentarily give them acceptance.

The bog bodies which we find today keep details such as fingerprints for thousands of years. These preservations has been dated from early medieval periods to 8000 B.C. No one is sure of how these people ended up in the bogs, but it seems that the bodies are not the remains of unlucky people who fell in after losing their way. According to authors in the classical age, the people of northern Europe gave human sacrifices for several reasons: in order to celebrate military victories, to recover from illness, and as executions for people who have done crimes or ones with social imperfections. Many of those found in the bogs died violently and did not simply fall in. It wasn’t an accident in medieval times, it is not an accident now. My best friend in elementary school was at the top of the social standing, but when we came to junior high he wanted more. He was constantly searching for ways to get higher: but he climbed too high. Now he is simply another body which has drowned in this swamp.

Although I live in America where peat bogs are nowhere to be found, people around me are being brutally slain and pushed into the bogs of conformity. Teens have to understand that choosing to be yourself is the choosing between a metaphorical life and death. As more of us fall in, the marsh grows larger. It is so easy to fall in when the amount of wetland vastly outnumbers the places we can be safe. In order to be safe, we must make the choice to always be ourselves. This I believe.