Government and Society Should not Write the Story of Your Life; You Should | Teen Ink

Government and Society Should not Write the Story of Your Life; You Should

February 17, 2010
By run295 SILVER, Katonah, New York
run295 SILVER, Katonah, New York
5 articles 5 photos 4 comments

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Government and Society Should not Write the Story of Your Life; You Should
Many people might believe that a government that guarantees complete safety, health and equality would be perfect, but after reading The Giver by Lois Lowry and Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut and hearing about current events prove that it is not perfect at all in fact there would be no independence, motivation, diversity or competition. A world without them would be dystopian.
All humans want to be free and independent and it is very hard to imagine a life without free will. If Government guarantees the complete health, safety and equal treatment for all, this would be guaranteeing sameness and what is lost is the desire to be creative independent thinkers. This concept proves to be true in The Giver, by Lois Lowry. She portrays a community that lives by sameness and is controlled by the Chief Elder. There is no independence because life is planned for every citizen. Every baby and child is given the exact same childhood experience and eventually jobs are assigned. There is no social status; everyone has the same size dwelling and is told what to wear and what to do. People in the Community do not experience pain, love, joy, or real sorrow. Each spouse is assigned; women cannot freely have children, and are given only two, a boy and a girl. Being able to choose whom to love is independence. When a person chooses a job, that is independence. How would you like it if you were told you were told you were going to be a nurse but you really wanted to become a lawyer? If you were allowed to become a lawyer you would want to be the best lawyer you could be, but if you were forced to become a nurse there would be little motivation to become a great nurse. Therefore, government should have no control over what people do, think or say, even if the government believes it creates equality. Motivation is needed for success.
In today’s world no one person is the same. People think differently, have different skills, habits, interests, and beliefs. There is difference in wealth, race and religion as well. Life can also be sad and very hard, but when there is diversity life is interesting and the people are motivated by possibility. In Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” set in the futuristic year of 2081 everybody is equal and there is no diversity. Vonnegut writes, “Nobody was smarter than everybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or better looking than anybody else.”- Harrison Bergeron (1). In order to make everybody equal there are handicaps to prevent one person from being smarter than another. People have a little mental handicaps in their ears that causes them to lose their train of thought. How would you like that? You might actually be smarter than somebody else, but there is a buzzer in your ear so you are both equally intelligent. Maybe you are a star athlete, but you have to wear a weight that makes you run the speed of everyone else. Harrison Bergeron takes off his handicaps and experiences excellence, beauty, and independence. He realizes that he cannot live without excellence and without it he is willing to die.
When you imagine only one language, one climate, no religion, and one brain, you have imagined how life is in The Giver. It seems very uninteresting, dull and far from perfect. In The Giver babies are released from the Community along with those who do not conform physically, or mentally or through their actions. They are released, killed, for being different from every other baby, or maybe just not growing fast enough. That is terrible; why should a baby be killed for being different? There is no good reason. We grow and learn through our differences, and how would we do so if everyone were equal? We learn to communicate, work and become friends with people that are not just like us. We might learn more about a religion or a country where we have never been but want to go someday because of those people. Diversity makes the world go round. Differences lead to mistakes or challenges from which we grow.
In present day China many young people want a say in their government and freedom of expression. Their government is run by the Communist Party and does not allow them to vote for their leaders and even restricts access to the Internet. China has the most sweeping Web filtering system in the world. If one were to search “Tiananmen Square massacre” or “Dali Lama” in China, they would come up blank. In the past they even blocked YouTube. The communist leaders believe this protects the population from bad ideas and keeps them focused on making China strong. The Communist Party has tried to create the perfect society by controlling it but people are beginning to speak out about their right to freedom of expression and information. People realize that society cannot be perfect and government is unjust when it limits these freedoms.
If Government granted complete healthy, safety and equal treatment for the entire world would change for the worse. We would loose so much of what we care about, what we cherish, what we live for and who we are. In The Giver Jonas realizes the sameness destroys all the color and emotion that makes life beautiful. Harrison Bergeron is willing to die because without life’s differences it is not worth living. China wants to believe it can be the perfect society without freedom but it is facing more and more opposition because people want freedom of expression. God did not create the world to make it perfect, He made it so there would be diversity and independence, so people can grow and learn through life. You should write the story of your life; it should not be dictated to people or written for them by government or society.

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