This I Believe

Aubryanna - Tipton, Indiana
Entered on December 3, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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I’m sitting here, sipping burnt, cold coffee with my brain buzzing and burning with the fever of philosophy. Divining my thoughts until one idea floats to the surface of the cavernous cavities hidden somewhere inside of me. At sixteen, I have realized what others, carrying crosses of passed time and passed opportunities, have failed to perceive. Tonight, the bright white light from a backlit sky illuminates the ideology that kindness is all we really need.

Make no mistake. I write this as an amateur orator. I am no prophet or poet. I carry no seal of approval but the one I stamp upon myself. Nevertheless, the philosophies pulsating through this pulmonary speak a universal language that no amount of merit would serve to clarify.

I see sadness reflected back at me in the forced smiles and prozac-padded lifestyles of today’s society. People don’t broadcast their pain openly, so it comes through statically, but the volume is loud enough for me know that humanity needs humanity. I believe that gestures of kindness should be given at every opportunity.

This belief was, in a large part, bequeathed to me by a boy, named Tyler, who finally rests peacefully. One day, I asked Tyler if he wanted to be my friend, he smiled and we sat and talked. Time passed, but we never got close and Tyler moved away.

Once he was gone, I was told that Tyler had endured a catastrophe that incessantly plagued him. Tyler survived a horrendous car accident that claimed his father’s life. Furthering the atrocity of the incident, the father did not die upon impact but in a baptismal downpour of his son’s tears. The next thing I learned about Tyler, came from an invitation to his funeral. Nightmares of the event had ravaged his mind, during sleep and consciousness. I think Tyler’s suicide was a final attempt to wake up from a life of bad dreams.

Now, two years later, I sleep to a record that repeats the same haunting lyrics -“what if?”. I run through my memories, trying to I find him and apologize for not taking the time to say hello every day. I want to go back and hold his hand and tell him that everything is going to be all right. I want to draw the blood from my veins, let the life ooze out of me and seep into his father. Sadly, I cannot and asking what if does nothing to abate the guilt that I see when I look in the mirror.

The only conceivable cure for my condition is to be as kind as I can and help others bask the warm glow of that elusive thing called ‘happy’. I live to polish the pain-stained clouds of the populace with tender words and benign deeds until their silver linings gleam. I refuse to accept that the world is meant to be a cesspool of sadness. If this is reality then let me sink into my sea of civilized insanity.