I Have Faith in the First Amendment

Stephanie - Mt. Royal, New Jersey
Entered on November 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

What once may have been simply a means of communication has evolved into an art form. From the creation of the First Amendment in the eighteenth century, we, as citizens of the United States, have been granted the freedom of speech. I have been granted this freedom, this opportunity to voice my opinion, my beliefs, my ideas, to express myself in words. Yet the current necessity of being “politically correct” and inoffensive to our audience has stolen this right. I’m here to tell my story. I wish to claim what is mine.

Honestly, the technicalities of the written law aren’t of my concern. No law can stop me. To state this is beyond cliché, but writing is my passion. It is my escape. It is my best friend, my shoulder to cry on when there is no other. My fingers and hands yield the most important functions of my body. My pen is my fifth extremity. My paper is my easel, devoid of emotion as it anticipates the overflow of my restless mind. And you, everyone who reads this, everyone I know or see or wish to meet is my muse. When life is stressful, when the ones I love fail to comprehend my spoken words, I open up my nightstand drawer to find a composition book with a black ballpoint pen pressed between the pages. (I only use black ink. It seems to sink deeper into loose-leaf.) They have supported me through my parents’ drunken fights and the unrequited attention of the boy in my science class. And they never frown upon my words, no matter how brutal or contradictory or insane. They never refuse to take in my crazed thoughts, and always keep my secrets safe, which at times I feel is impossible to ask of any human being, especially when we can be so judgmental, so reluctant to accept what is foreign to us.

Writing has given me the power to succeed, to dream, and to speak louder than my small, timid voice will ever allow. This power can freeze a reader in thought, contemplation, self-evaluation. It is a power that equips me with the ability to turn off or on the full force of honesty and devout belief, not some petty law. I once wrote one day, three simple lines: “Here’s the truth. My pen, my paper is what keeps me content. I can write goodnight, sleep tight, or the end.” I have faith in the First Amendment and what it has given me. This, I thrive on. This, I believe.