The Western dream… no servitude

I was in year 12 when I first heard about ‘The American Dream.’ We were studying Of Mice and Men and my teacher was explaining George and Lennie’s pursuit of land to call their own as the ultimate American dream.

This goal has become the veritable ‘pot at the end of the rainbow’ for much of western society; to own a piece of land has become both the American and Australian dream. We may have masters at work, but at home we are slaves to no one. Even our political systems are built on the premise that the common man does not serve the leader, but the leader serves the common man.

As a result, one of the greatest challenges I face is that of servitude to God. No longer does my generation feel any real duty to ‘King and Country.’ In fact, if I’m honest, the concept of truly living my life in servitude to anyone seems foreign to me.

There are many who have laid down their lives for our liberty, and for that I am grateful, but I am afraid that it has created a dangerous illusion. I struggle to lay down my life in full servitude to God, because I have been falsely led to believe that my life is my own. Not only to I fail to see that I am a slave to sin or self, but I have lost all comprehension of the honour it is to serve a great master.

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Don’t ban the books! (thank goodness many people don’t read)

It’s 12.10am on a school night and I won’t sleep for a while. I feel a tight, choking feeling in my body as though I want to vomit, but not from my stomach, from my mind. I just read something that I can’t unread, and therefore saw something I can’t unsee.

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Books have a long history as sacred vehicles that transcend mortality and carry the human intellect from one generation to the next. What could have been lost from the past is not lost, because we have books. Their sacred position in society means that their destruction is a mark of corruption. The burning of books has symbolised tyranny and the banning of books is the oppression of ideas.

Censorship, when it comes to books, is a dirty word, but tonight I am wondering this: if we outlaw child pornography, criminalizing even its possession, then how can we allow it to exist in books?

I haven’t read the controversial Lolita, but after what I did read tonight, hidden unsuspectingly at the three-quarter mark of my novel, I fear for those who want this kind of content uncensored.

There is great evil in the world and we must be aware of it, but to read the first-person narrative of someone utterly perverse causes you to momentarily adopt their perversion.

I cannot call for the banning of the books, but tonight, I’m glad that not so many people read. I fear for a society that has that filth in their heads.

How ‘gay’ is killing creativity

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A while back I was horrified when one of my female students yelled across the classroom to one of the boys, ‘You should be gay!’ The boy, somewhat taken aback, asked her why.

‘Because you’re into music stuff and choir and all that,’ was her response, and a part of me cried inside for the ignorance and judgmental nature of teenagers.

A big part of my grief was this: that our incessant need to label people and define them by their sexuality is killing creativity in boys. Things that were praised in bygone eras, acting, music, composing and self expression through writing and poetry, have become defining symbol’s of a man’s sexuality. So many talented boys, growing into men, are afraid to express themselves lest their sexuality be called into question.

It is a tragedy for the arts, and a tragedy for humanity.

We’re reading To Kill a Mockingbird in year 11 at the moment, and Scout’s comment is really resonating with me: ‘I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.’

We need to stop defining people by their sexuality, and even more, we need to stop using these labels as a derogatory way to cut people down.

As Australians, we’re not great at celebrating talent, but we need to change that. Let’s start with letting boys be creative, lest we kill the passion of our future Mozarts, Shakespeares and Da Vincis.