Our Values have Lost Value

Sunday, December 14, 2014 - By: Ibrahim S, Whittall ‘15

The following text won the Grade 12 Fabrications Speech contest. Read on and you'll discover why.

 

We live in a world with movie stars, All-Stars and World Star.

Looking back to where we start, it seems like we have come so far.

 

We all aspire to be part of the high life;

A life of swag and luxury with the major highlights 

Being a fancy house with a nice skylight, 

Where we can see every beautiful twilight. 

 

Our understanding of life is solely based on what we see on the news, on the internet or elsewhere.

We only get glimpses and subtle clues, of what people really have to face out there. 

It’s probably because we’re in here and we simply just don’t care. 

 

The problem is:

Outside of the Brentwood bubble 

There is the equally as prestigious space

Known as the rest of the world!

We seem to forget that!

And you see, ladies and gentlemen “That aint right”!

 

But those problems are external and peripheral.

What I’d like to talk about is internal and subliminal.

Not as obvious as you might think, its evidence is minimal.

It is the savage within us all, the violent! The criminal!

 

The problem is:

We hate on those who try to achieve!

Those who strive and care to believe.

We mock, and make jest in bitter damnation

As bitter attempts to hide our secret admirations.

 

You can go up to a bro and ask him if he even lifts,

You don’t know that he got that tank top as a birthday gift.

You ask that nerd if he ever leaves the library, 

You don’t seem to understand that his education is primary.

You chirp the rower for never getting off his erg,

You better watch yourself, or he’ll beat you with his oar. 

You see, that girl that really likes to sing

Just wishes you could listen without pestering.

 

We hate on those who have found their passion,

And treat them in an outcast and bitter fashion

That aint right!

 

The problem is:

Some of us don’t even know what we want to do with our lives.

And we get threatened by those who’ve got it figured out

Because they know where they want to go, and what they want to do 

Without a single shred of doubt.

 

At this point most people feel insecure about their inaction

So what occurs is a compulsive reaction 

To hate, to jest, to misunderstand 

With no reason or traction.

 

Earlier, I talked about how we’ve come so far,

But now it seems like we’re travelling back in time.

We have teleported to a place, where intelligence is no longer valued

Effort, and virtue have become devalued.

We no longer care for kindness, and love and what have you. 

The only admirable personality trait, is not giving a damn.

That aint right!

 

We’re encouraged to be cynical, and narcissistic. 

Celebrated and praised when pessimistic. 

We greet each cry for effort with unanimous decline.  

We all return to our last resort which is to complain and whine. 

 

I’m here to tell you,

Though your path might be concealed or unclear

Mine is concrete and divine!

So take your dark clouds elsewhere and let me have my sunshine. 

 

Listen up; here are some more words contemporary in our times

And it’s disheartening for me to say these cold, hard lines

Our values are skewed and distorted, 

No longer carefully assorted, but twisted and beat down into something more contorted. 

 

It’s no longer about how fast you run, but how fast you chug rum. 

No longer about how high you can swing, but how high you can get. 

No concern for how hard you can work, but how hard you can go.  

 

If that’s what you believe in then that’s alright

But to oppress me for thinking otherwise

That aint right!

 

We can do whatever we want, but we never choose to acknowledge this

We are the privileged, the fortunate, and washed in bliss 

 

We have adopted a hatred of compassion

Nowadays it’s all about getting some action.

We’re becoming passively impassive, 

And actively inactive, 

And rather than bettering the world,

We prefer chilling and relaxin’

 

We were once concerned about being thought provocative; 

Now we’re just concerned with being more provocative. 

 

Those who do not conform might feel like outsiders

But for you my special friend I’ve got an insider…

 

You must resist the resistance, 

And the lack of assistance.

And remain insistent on the goal in the distance.

 

I think my rant about the world and its problems has come to an end, but ladies and gentlemen I can’t leave you with a negative conclusion. 

Because

That simply just aint right!

 

So, instead my intention is to turn your attention to the following words I shall mention. Here are the most important things I have said all day. This is your mighty package; a gift; your takeaway:

 

I am not going to stand here, and go on about what to do. Instead I’ll make clear what I’d prefer you not to do. 

Do not oppress those who do not conform. 

Their life is their show, and they decide how to perform. 

Do not be disappointed because you lack direction, 

often we have to stumble before we find perfection.  

Do not be afraid to follow your dreams.

Go for your passion no matter how crazy it seems. 

Do not be discouraged by the nay-sayers,

because in a few years it won’t matter what they saying. 

So keep fighting, go hard, and keep playing, 

because at the end of the day the haters will keep hating. 

 

To our entire generation, our class, our grad class.

I think it’s fair that I saved the best message for last.

The ball is in your court. You’re down six and there’s 30 seconds in double overtime. Your visions hazy, but your mind is in overdrive. 

Time is picking up; and you’re down to 25. 

You’ve only got a few moments to bring this game back to life. 

When things get rough the fake friends are quick to hide

But we all know that the real friends are always by your side. 

So don’t be afraid to pass of the ball, 

Always remember that even the strongest people fall.

You’re not weak for seeking support. 

This is your game, your life, your sport. 

 

Now there’s10 seconds remaining,

And the coach is complaining. 

But you’re patient and you keep waiting. 

Because for all your life you’ve been training. 

One quick fake to the left and the haters move adrift, 

A quick move to the right, that is equally as swift. 

You set your feet wide, and you take a deep breath, 

And release the shot that would put the haters to death. 

The ball goes through the net. Swish! 

The crowd is still trying to figuring out what hit. 

You’re grinning because I feel like a beast, 

And you made it through when supported least.

That’s how my game ends, how does yours? 

Are you whining and complaining on all fours?

Or are you ending the game with an upscore?

 

Ibrahim S, Whittall ‘15

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