Wednesday, May 28, 2008

3WW - Blurred, Illegal, Match


Sara would soon be graduating college and instead of feeling joy she felt like she was walking in a fog. Sara was a smart girl and had been accepted into a good law school. Her friend's would often tease her that she wasn't a lawyer type and she silently agreed. But she would always smile at them as she pictured herself driving around town in her Mustang convertible with her perfect match by her side. She would make her parents proud by having more than they ever dreamed of.

She had a great childhood that was full of love with a great emphasis on education. Sara was told how special she was on a daily basis and growing up her childhood was filled with "be all you can be, follow your dreams and grab the big brass ring." Her parents saved and sacrificed for her education so she could concentrate strictly on school. Before she left home all she knew was her family but when she returned on vacations she had become a visitor.

Sara had spent her four years of college being very bored. It was not the boredom you feel after work and play but a soul-sapping emptiness. It gnawed at her gut making her a thinking ghost. She saw no reason to take classes about Jane Austen, theoretical physics or ancient Greeks for a law degree. When she was not behaving outrageously with her pals she would space out in front of the TV. Politics left her cold as she surfed passed the casualties of war without a single pause. She was clinging to the superiority of the present to out shine the past and believing everything would workout in the end.

She felt numb because nothing moved her deeply and any elation did not last very long. Her friends would become a blurred piece of her past once they all graduated. She was drifting and did not like what she was seeing in the mirror so she experimented with illegal drugs as a salve for her emptiness. This kept her absence of longing at bay but throughout her days it was never completely gone.

Sara became a lawyer, wife and mother. She repeated the patterns of her youth with plenty of platitudes. Without direction and balance she saw that familiar emptiness reflected in her children's eyes but it was simply too late.

I have been engrossed in research of apathy in our young adults. Lions for Lambs inspired me to find answers. I wrote this fictional piece on one young adult that describes what I'm seeing. Not all young people feel this way but sadly many do. Boredom is the common denominator which could be caused by the decline of politics, community, confidence in God or reason and clinging to a weakening doctrine of progress.



23 comments:

pia said...

Great description of a growing problem but I keep hoping that this election is making kids less apathetic

Lucy said...

so sad Tammy. I do see many apathetic youths.
Why? Boredom seems impossible today, doesn't it? I think depression seems to play a part, but why are so many young people depressed?
great post Tam, hugs. xo

Jane Doe said...

'It was not the boredom you feel after work and play but a soul-sapping emptiness.'

What a great line! I liked this piece.

Anonymous said...

Todays youth lack role models. Hence this apathy!

gautami tripathy said...

That was me!

rebecca said...

i remember growing up if i ever mentioned the word "bored" to my mother, she'd make me clean up the house...hence, i never complained! like everything else, the more you say something, the more ingrained it becomes in your brain and thus you begin to believe it. but, the world is so very different today...personally, i think there is just TOO MUCH of everything...too many channels, too many toys and games, too many activities...the body and mind never have the opportunity to settle and be quiet and become one. i rarely see someone young today be without some noise of some kind from sunup to sundown. this is just not healthy. not healthy at all.

this was a very good post, tammy...a very good post.

tinker said...

Very thought-provoking piece, Tammy...I hope we find some solutions soon.
((hugs))

Tammy said...

The research I read said that the technology ie video games and TV are just another form of self-medicating.

They need role models, direction and a balanced education to see their potential for greatness.

Why can't colleges re-evaluate what and how they teach?
Have parents gone overboard in building self-esteem without direction?
Can the media stop with the "Brittney's" and engage our young people with real news?
Can communities reach out to each other to give these kids a feeling of community?

I loved the answers I found and hope I can do my part to change this.

Just Jen said...

I'm amazed at how well your writing has been! You get better all the time :D
I find the boredom to be a hopelessness....I went down a road similar to this character in my youth and I could see it continuing into my adult years. I'm glad I'm not anymore. Apathy is sometimes a behaviour that doesn't become a part of a person. no easy answers with this one.

daisies said...

first of all, this is a fabulous piece of writing, you should be incredibly proud.

i wonder sometimes if the boredom or apathy is a lack of allowing yourself to find that one thing you are truly passionate about ... i watched a huge change in my son recently when he discovered his love for basketball, suddenly, his eyes sparkle, his laughter comes easy and he is full of energy. he spends hours and hours behind the garage shooting hoops, running in the morning and recently we started swimming together every day ... prior to this, we worried that he didn't really seem to care about anything.

perhaps, it is important for us to cultivate the importance of searching for what they love and for continuing to be passionate about our lives so kids can see that is something worthwhile ...

i see a lot of boredom and apathy in us older generation too ~ i think just jen is right ... there is a hopelessness there and perhaps it is a matter of promoting hope and passion, love and beauty. i don't know. no answers just thoughts :)

your writing is so stimulating, thank you :) xo

Daily Panic said...

I can't connect with the teenagers my daughter hangs out with. It seems they don't have manners to speak anymore, and clutch to their inner world of texting and it is a complete mystery to me how they will evolve.

Geraldine said...

You write such interesting and engaging posts Tammy. There is much to ponder in this one. I wonder why there is so much apathy in the youth of today? In my twenties I felt that anything was possible and I was up for any challenge.

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

Chris said...

Very nicely written, T. Sad, but excellent composition.

Chris said...

Very nicely written, T. Sad, but excellent composition.

bella said...

wow.
good for you, for giving voice to this.
i felt my own understanding and empathy grow.
and excellent writing.

giggles said...

Excellent piece Tammy, this is something I feel so passionate about. A couple of things I see is an intimate disconnect between parents and children.With a fifty percent divorce rate, and the frenetic lifestyles people lead between work and play the foundation of home life is cracked! Everyone is too busy to check in to heart and soul! I also agree with Daisies, when you find your personal bliss life becomes energizing, exciting, boosting the self esteem. Marijuana being a serotonin inhibitor can also factor in apathy. Well written enjoyable post Tammy!!

paisley said...

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all you will have to do is remove the - from between why and paisley,, everything else will remain the same and will redirect you to the correct page.... sorry for the inconvenience...

TC said...

I had such hope that she would instead make sure her kids didn't do the same thing she did. Sad.

Becca said...

Tammy, I loved the way you used this story to illustrate a very (sad) but important truth. I do think today's society is very hard on young people, and Sara was the perfect example of the kind of frustration and emptiness they fall prey to.

Great story!

one more believer said...

thank you for opening a window.. having a 19 yr son my heart grows weary sometimes of the struggle of "trying" to make things right as i can for him... oh, then i remember it is his life now... and his choices... my work is done and i can only love him unconditionally...

Amber said...

Hmmm, I read this, "She felt numb because nothing moved her deeply and any elation did not last very long"--- and I was totally gong to say how so many young people seem to be in this place, and then I read your last paragraph. (Great minds. ahem)

It is crazy to me, and it scares me for my children. Everything is just...So MUCH, that nothing is exciting anymore, it seems. But I also deeply believe that a REAL relationship to God or a spiritual life--not religion shoved at them, but a personal connection and respect, is in large part what these people are lacking. Hopefully I can instill in my own kids a vision of themselves and something bigger that speaks to them.

;)

Beatriz' suitcase contents said...

Tammy, another interesting post, and something to think about for sure. Well written too.
Remember my promise of designing a button to post on blogs, so that we could commit to recycling our electronics in a safe manner? It is done! Come by, and see for yourself, and take the code and post it in your blog if you want! Thank you for inspiring me.

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