Some not so profound thoughts on my life
But things never go according to plan. As I speak my family is undergoing bankrupcy; we're seventy five thousand dollars in credit card debt and paying the mortgage. So far two people we've spoken with at the bank have either attempted to intentionally mislead us or simply weren't aware of the numbers themselves, as a solution we were offered, while it would of saved us several hundred dollars in the first three months, would of actually increased our monthly payments afterwards. If it weren't for the fact that my father is rather paranoid, we'd of probably fallen hook line and sinker for that trick. But we didn't, so we're continuing onward, and maybe the judge will have mercy on us when we go to court to try to get out debt resolved.
Basically my family is far from the best of economic situations, and across this great nation of America, quite a few other families are undergoing similar situations. We're continually told the economy is going get better, and one day it will, but the end doesn't look close. This puts a crimp in my life plans. Will America still be the place for me when I graduate with my masters of mechanical engineering? Or will I flee to Iceland, try to get away from whatever political crisis it is in the 2020s? I've always wanted to go to Iceland, always talked about setting up a home there, but in reality I've always understood it's a dream and nothing more. It'd be expensive, and I'd have to leave everything behind, including my family.
Unlike most teenagers my age, I don't really feel any great urge for independence. Perhaps I will in the future, but as it is now, I'm content where I am. There's annoying aspects of my life, certainly, but I'm too attached to my family to go far. Maybe some day later I'll go to Los Alamos and work with the guys down there, or maybe even go to MIT and work on the wonders they do every day. But at least then I'd still be in the same country as my family; I could jump in the car for a vacation and go visit them. Transatlantic flights from Iceland to Kansas are definitely not the cheapest.
And of course, there's my immediate economic situation and my fears of not being able to go anywhere in life. My family will have no money when I go to college; and while the tuition rates at WSU aren't that bad, a job or internship on the side isn't going be able to cut it. My performance as a student here and now is crucial to my future of getting scholarships, and while I doubt I'll be completely ignored, as it stands my grades simply aren't good enough to compete with the uppercrust. Perhaps I give too much credit to myself, but this honestly isn't a fault with my intelligence. My work ethic is near legendary for being terrible, and I really do not apply myself enough. It's my hope that I'll be able to do well on the ACT and be able to apply for scholarships from that, because while grades are important, it's in my experience that they pay much more attention to the ACT than your overall grades. And besides, I'm a mostly A, occasional B student, and while my father might give me the riot speech for those Bs I don't think it'll kill me.
So maybe my concerns about getting scholarships are unwarranted. So now we move onto what I'm going do with my life. It's always been "become an engineer, go do cool stuff." Which, really, planning much more in-depth is an exercise in futility. I've always wanted to get into some measure of politics; not the government, of course. But I've always felt it's the responsibility of every citizen to make his or her voice heard. The concept of every vote counting is a correct one, simply on the basis of crowd mentality. If a million people decide their votes don't matter... well, that's a million votes gone, isn't it?
And of course, there's more than just voting. There's societal reforms, there's picketing, rallies, assemblies. Making a change simply by stating your opinion is something I think not enough people do out of the logic that "I don't really matter in the grand scheme of things." But the individual does matter in the grand scheme of things, because an individual's thoughts and ideals can be more world-changing than any one groups. The idea of individual expression and the ability to speak your mind is an important one in a free society. To let it be dominated by one view point is ultimately stagnant. The ability to change people's opinions is such a crucial one, and we who live in America and indeed, the rest of the free world, often take for granted the ability to do that. And yet many of us don't choose to use this innate human right.
Some of us have our excuses. What will people think? What will people say? What will people do? How will I be seen in the eyes of society?
And I can relate to that. I live in a family who I disagree with on many accounts. My father is about as conservative as they come. I know that, at some point in the future, I will have to confront my family over my beliefs and, indeed, my own personal being. I don't look forward to that day; some parts of me just want to continue the secrecy forever. The thought of being expelled from my family is something that shakes me to the core, and for all the love I know my parents have for me, it is a literal conflict of world-views. History shows us that such things can and have torn loving families apart and caused so much suffering and pain.
But it is the world we live in. Secrecy and private thought changes nothing. Even as I type this I speak hypocritically, because I haven't come to that all important decision. Yet I can see that hypocrisy. The importance of an individual, standing up and telling society his or her opinions, is something that we all must be willing to do. To be cowed into fear is to have that fundamental right taken away from you by your own choice. On the grand scheme of things, one boy telling his family the truth is not relevant. But this is the grand scheme of things! There is no one boy; there is a thousand, a hundred thousand, a million boys and girls, and that changes things. A million choosing to stand up for their right to speak what they think. Saying one individual cannot change things on the larger picture is a fallacy, because it is the larger picture, composed of the billions of individual pictures. To say that you can't change something big is to ignore the fact that you are part of that something.
Your choices are relevant to both your world and the greater world. Because a million people, a billion people, all making their own choices, is more important than anything else. What their choices are is irrelevant; what they do is irrelevant. Be it for good or evil, at least that individual made a choice. If we choose to fight the evil, then we have chosen to fight it. If we choose to fight the good, then we have chosen to fight it. Who is right is up to personal belief; and that personal belief is more sacred than anything else.
I suppose, you could sum this up as the concept that saying one individual is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things is akin to saying one Representative in the House of Representatives is irrelevant. Certainly, there are 434 other representatives. What harm could one do? But if all 435 Representative decided one day, their vote didn't matter and just stared at home... well, that would be rather bad, wouldn't it? The individual effects things on an individual scale. A million individuals effect a million individual scales. A million pictures stitched together to make one big picture.
Well. I went from talking about my economic crisis to politics and the importance of choosing things for yourself. I suppose I'll quit while I'm ahead.
I thank anyone who stuck with me through this series of rambles. Likely, it is ridden with typos and I made a fool of myself somewhere in it. I tried my best to avoid any major political issues but alas, this is BZPower. I can only hope for a peaceful discussion of the importance of free will.