Think Responsibly

Natalie - Mariettta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Think Responsibly

I believe in learning. No, this is not a teacher writing propaganda for the educational system. This is not a worried parent attempting to encourage his or her child to pursue college. This is a teenager, a regular teenager, expressing her belief.

Learning means much more than studying for tests or taking notes in class; it does not only take place in school. One can learn about sports on ESPN, fashion in magazines, or pop culture at the movie theater. I remember one Saturday evening when I came home from a friend’s house and found my own home empty. Without anything else to do, I proceeded to the computer for entertainment. Suddenly, inspired by some intangible force, I was compelled to research topics on the internet. I began by searching movies and actors, but then I moved on to authors, cartoonists, and scientific theories. I read through an online biography of the Hannah-Barbara company, and then I scanned book synopses for Anne Rice and Brett Eaton Ellis. In total, I spent three hours reading and searching online. It was a needed hiatus from my usual evenings spent thinking only about my own life. By learning new information, I was able to look at the world with a “big picture” perspective instead of focusing on myself.

I am not saying that I go on research binges every night, or that anyone should. Rather, I am saying that on that night I realized the importance of seeking knowledge outside of school and learning about things that really interest me. As people age, get jobs, and marry, they care less and less about learning. Soon, due to hectic lifestyles, some people stop learning new things altogether. I do not want this to happen to me. I believe in learning because learning keeps people away from the mundane. It keeps people active, involved, and passionate. It transforms people into individuals with independent opinions and ideas.

I have made changes in my life to accommodate for this belief. Now, when I turn on the television, I go to the Discovery Channel or History Channel instead of cartoons. I often become frustrated when I see people who do not know anything about the important events in our world. These are the people who cram in high school but soon forget, or maybe do not try in school at all. Will they change the world? However, it is never too late to learn a new issue or skill. I am still young and do not know where I will be in ten years, but I am trying to stay open-minded to every suggestion I am given. I will continue to learn about global crises or manufacturing objects or theories on dematerialization. I do not limit myself to one topic in life, but instead I continue to learn and discover more things everyday so I can make a change in the future. Ignorance may be bliss, but stupidity is unbearable. This I believe.