Ah, what can I say about Portland, Maine? I could begin with the beautiful Old Port architecture, or the nifty cobblestone-style streets. I could describe the intriguing people that hang out on the local common, playing unusual instruments and smoking cigarettes. But I feel as though this would do no justice to those that are merely trying to get by in this fair sea-side city. I feel as though I would not be paying homage to the struggle that the vacationing tourists never see.
I have spent many interesting nights in Portland. On side streets, in dark hallways and darker rooms. I have seen a nightlife that many will never understand, and though I am not always in agreement, I have never judged. It is impossible to understand why people make the decisions that they do, but why be the deciding factor in an equation that isn’t yours? I have made my choices, and I wish to not be judged by them. There is addiction. There is sexuality. There is so much reality in the youth of this place; there is so much passion that is yet undiscovered. We are a city that is full of life.
What is a mistake when you are trying to make the basics come together? What is one more trial when you’re used to battling the system? I am enlightened watching those around me. I have watched my friends feed themselves drugs and booze, just waiting for the break in monotony. It is a reality. It is an escape that some choose, and though I am not a participant, I can understand the need. I have my vices. I can admit that. This being yet another reason behind my lack of judgment. Where is the stopping point for this degradation? When will my generation be accepted as a party of knowledgeable American citizens? We have perspective, and can clearly see what the future will hold if we don’t act quickly. The American public takes how much notice of our strengths? None. Clearly, American youth, we are on our own.
But what CAN we do to fight what our government has set before us? What can we do to argue the rights that were set before us, over two hundred years ago? What will bring us from the shadows of drug abuse and alcoholism to the forefront of modernism? We can vote. We can educate ourselves on the government that will be put into place in two thousand nine. What I see when I look around me often times lessens my hope for a generation. I am sometimes disappointed in the bleak outlook that many of my peers today possess. But what can be done to encourage them? It is easier than ever for us as a symbiotic unit to act in favor of our rights, yet so many turn down those simple opportunities. We have driven ourselves to think that we are a dying age; a generation lost to war, starvation, disease, and economical struggle. The media has been of no help, and the government has not given us hope. Both facets of American culture were, unfortunately, designed to do things that are seemingly impossible at this time. This is why action is most necessary now: we as youth have been handed a diplomatic disaster, and it will be the responsibility of my age group to clean up the mess. We must take interest, before we are left to fall.
Yes, I may seem nearly militant, and I assure you that no disaster is in the making. I am merely concerned for those around me who have not been granted the chance to think for themselves. Those who are not able to stand up for what will be left to them and theirs. It is our time for action. It is time for a nation of future leaders to rise and grasp what it is being handed, before time runs out.
Think on these things.