Reviews for An Open Letter to Teenagers
A Watcher chapter 1 . 7/10/2014
Hello. You are a good person. If a book called Coin, by an author called Haitaka Gray ever comes out, I'll send you a free copy. Keep doing what you doing. Heck, do nothing, just say what you think. People watch. I know I'm being presumptuous, but honestly my point is you rock.

- A Visionary
Minimatt chapter 1 . 12/5/2010
An interesting essay. I agree with your point of view, save for a few points here and there, but I don't think it's possible to change.

Today's society (the entire society, not just teenage society) is too rigid to be changed easily. Cliques and groups of 'popular' and 'less-popular' kids are formed as early as kindergarten. The ones that shout hardest, fight meanest and talk best are usually the ones that are more popular than the rest. The shy, introvert and timid ones, the ones that don't want to mess with anybody just for the fun of it, usually fall in the 'not-popular' category.

The groups that were formed during kindergarten usually exist until high school. (English & American schooling systems differ a bit from the Dutch system, but not an extreme amount. High school usually starts at age 12-13 here, and kindergarten and elementary school are one.)

In high school new groups are formed. Those groups stay the same (roughly) for most of the high school time. The popular kids from elementary school and kindergarten usually are the popular kids in high school as well.

The whole point of groups, and therefore of society itself, is to stereotype other people. If someone is in the sporty group, he's a jock. If someone is in the popular group, he's a popular kid. If someone is in the nerdy group, he's a nerd. Per definition.

That is what we learn and have learned since kindergarten, all the way through elementary and high school. It is therefore only logical that we continue (subconsciously or not) to use that system of labelling different people in our adulthood.

When you are adult, and have kids, you unconsciously teach them, whether you want it or not, to be a bit biased about other people. The labelling, the grouping and the forming of cliques is transferred from parent to child that way, and the circle is round.

One child that is used to think in groups can 'contaminate' (sounds a bit too negative, but I'll use the word anyway) a whole class of not-contaminated kids. Because a child that thinks in groups usually forms friendships easier, and usually with kids that are dominant by nature, they are labelled as popular by the rest of the group. The rest of the group will then think about what that child does different from them and they will start to think in groups as well.

It is built into society, and has been that way since prehistory. It is, in fact, only natural to think in groups with 'popular' and 'less popular' kids, since animals do it too. Doesn't a pack of wolves have an alpha male, and alpha female? And isn't the rest submissive to those two? Stretch that analogy to groups, and you'll see that there is one 'alpha' group with all the 'popular kids'. The rest of the groups is submissive to that group. And if one of the groups isn't, a fight breaks out (quite literally sometimes).

So it is by our nature that we label people to be in different groups. It presented (and still presents) an evolutionary advantage. If you can think in groups, and manipulate the knowledge about groups successfully, then you can worm your way into the 'popular' group. Since you're then a popular kid, you can get more 'mates' (to put it in evolutionary terms).

Don't get me wrong, I totally agree with your point, but I don't think it is a real possibility to do that for a large group of people. For individuals maybe, but not for groups. The system works too good for that.
LarunaBelle chapter 1 . 8/19/2010
Very true.

Though, not everyone is contained in one stereotype. Some drift.

I, for one, don't really think I belong in a group, but I'd say 'geeks/nerds'. And proud of it.

You seem like a thoughtful individual, writing something like this.

Intriguing view on the world and how people should be, it's sad that not many act like how you wish them to.
Hidden Flowers chapter 1 . 12/26/2009
Agreed. Thank you.
Brenda Agaro chapter 1 . 7/2/2009
An inspiring essay. I thank you for this.

I don't know if you're aware, but there's an HTML section below.
R.J.Warren chapter 1 . 10/22/2008
... wow...

I don't really know wot to say to this... you've written all of my thoughts on this subject down in one letter. Dude... awesome... it like... really spoke to me though, because I try to be my own person... still get laughed at. You can't win in this society. It's an unjust society. Nonetheless... Omg, it's just really really good.

AMAZING in fact! People need to read this dammit!

Becca x
tuieri chapter 1 . 9/21/2008
go places in life, boy. do, dare and dream and try not to become bitter. it's going to be hard, the next few years.
Scorpia710 chapter 1 . 9/18/2008
Are you asking me to become a hippie? Not serious of course. I totally agree with you, teens these days seperate themselves into groups judging the new kids to see is they should be in their 'in' crowd. We shouldn't always try to fit in and bend to the rules of society. I want to be different, I want to stand out and make a name for myself, I want to be a leader and the crap that all the kids around me radiate makes me sick. I sincerly hope this is at least sort of what you are saying, because if it's not then I need to find a corner to hide in. I have to admit that I do love laughing and I see nothing wrong with it, but a lot of young adults I know don't take stuff seriously, the just don't care and it worries me. Even some adults don't care about serious issues, their logic is 'as long as it's not on the news, then it can't be that serious'. It's a dangerous mindset.

Thanks for writing this, hope I didn't ramble too long.

Caroliine chapter 1 . 5/17/2008
Good, good writing style, I like your subject, what else is there to say? Thanks for sharing and good job.
fatbird33 chapter 1 . 3/16/2008
YEAHS all around. this is truly amazing. and i love you for writing it. it was extremly well written. FAVS!
everydaymask3 chapter 1 . 5/29/2007
Wow, this was great. It made me look at myself and notice that I need to change. Thank you for making me realize this, great writing.
GreyStar Dreams chapter 1 . 5/25/2007
it's amazing how many wonderful people you can find here. You are right in everyway.

From laughter
The Eastern Collector chapter 1 . 5/17/2007
O. Fist in the gut, man. And I mean that in a good way.

I was just thinking earlier that the only thing I do with my friends is joke around...

Is it possible to get your permission to print this out or forward it to my friends? Needless to say, it's not for profit or anything. But I'd like to spread the word...
J. Shelley chapter 1 . 5/17/2007
Whoop! You tell 'em!

MrFlames chapter 1 . 5/17/2007
Don't bold "tired" or "Rise above". Italicize them if you want, but bolding them breaks your structural themes.

The "You are not your clothes" bit toward the end reminded me a bit too much of Fight Club. Other than that, this is a so-so portrayal of standard humanist mumbo jumbo.
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