Decay of a Generation

Lauryn - Southfield, Michigan
Entered on July 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

American society has decayed to a place of apathy and injustice. Arrogant to the needs of the community, those currently aged 16 to 25 are increasingly ignorant to the political currents that will continue to exist. There is a flaw; it is nothing that has recently erupted but it grows exponentially. Currently, as 2008 approaches I see no end to this debilitating infection. It will continue to thrive as Pilgrim values wither away. Impressionable past generations have fallen to these superficial ideals—I pray mine proves more grounded in its journey. Thankfully, a few in the masses present a glowing hope. I am indomitable in the quest not to be a statistic of my generation.

As I see it, heathenism is at its best. The children of this generation are not reliable, nor are they moral in their actions or duties. The evidence is an existing stigma of social worth held solely in what is owned. The result is praise of false idols in the form of Manolo Blahniks and Rolls-Royce Phantoms. It’s a poisonous pandemic that deteriorates the image of success. Young women of Christian homes act as harlots while their brothers absorb toxins, allowing years of manifested brain cells to dissipate in a cloud of haze. Even my own blood is not immune to this disease. It causes turmoil in families while simultaneously shredding relationships to unsalvageable conditions.

As I watch, children run from responsibility—in school, in work, in family—in life. I have been fortunate enough to witness the most devastating versions of life from behind a plate glass divider; always knowing but never being exposed to the virus that has killed too many would-be achievements.

I have discovered the remedy. It is education. It is faith. It is in knowing that what people see me as is not who I am. The reason that I continue to stalk my dreams is so that I may not fall prey to society’s vision of me. I am not a candidate of mediocrity. I have claimed “Living apart” as my ANTI-DRUG. There is no gimmick so convincing that I would forget why I chose to relinquish my body as God’s Temple. I refuse to be categorized by my social graces or heritage. I have a greater purpose than repopulating this orbiting rock and paying taxes to an ungracious nation.

As it is, I wish that it was not. Coleridge’s idea of a willing suspension of disbelief does not exist for me. I am not so naïve as to see something as it is not; nevertheless, I yearn not to see the future as hapless. I long to not see life as a battlefield. I pine for the day when society appears as more than a tangled web of grief. Although, the experience thus far has hardened me, I remain faithful in the belief that one day things will improve. The apathy I have gained from pain has not tarnished my optimism entirely; it has instead permitted me the insight to see my desires fulfilled.