I think I'm the only person in the world who reads rules and guidelines, or at least skims over them. O.o
With that random note done, 'I think I'm the only person in the world who reads rules and guidelines' would probably make an excellent opening line to a murder mystery.
With that random note done, we basically wrote a thing for English inspired by 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' and I chose the theme 'Children are innocent; the adults made the world a mess' or something along those lines.
And this is what happened.
My older sister, Olive, is opinionated.
This wouldn't be a bad thing if she didn't express those opinions in front of adults, no matter how true they are. But I don't mind most of the time because it's funny when it happens.
'You know the world's a mess, right, Meg?' she says, looking at the world map tacked up on her side of the wall. 'You know why it's a mess?' She turns to face me.
'Yeah,' I say, distractedly staring at my books scattered across the floor. Maybe she won't ask me. I don't know the answer, really, but whatever. The world's a mess, and that's it. It's not a matter of how it started, in my opinion, but how to fix it. But Olive wants to know things.
'Then why?' she asks, all too aware that I want to just get the conversation over and done with.
'Because people are stupid.'
Olive blinks. 'That's... frank.'
'It's true,' I sigh. 'A bunch of people with too much authority and not enough smarts make decisions and we live the consequences.'
Olive shakes her head. You got it wrong, I think. 'You got it wrong,' she says. Well, duh. 'It's the adults.'
'A bunch of people,' I repeat, 'with too much authority and not enough –'
'No, you idiot. Adults. Some adults don't have authority.'
'Over their children –'
Olive cuts in again. 'Adults make decisions. You know that?'
'Wow,' I answer sarcastically.
'Adults caused this mess. They learn to fail and doubt their ideas. What do you think?'
'I think that's a load of –' I pause. 'Are you saying children should run the world? Because we don't doubt ourselves yet?'
'Nope. Not at all. But it's true that adults caused this mess. Think about it: We children are pretty much the most innocent things on this Earth. We couldn't do anything. And adults make the decisions – what will happen where, who does what with their lives, and who does what to someone else's life and so many other things. So don't you think that adults caused the mess?'
I think for a moment. 'Yeah,' I say. 'Yeah, it's true.'
'Do you think we can fix it?' Olive asks, her eyes shining.
'No,' I answer promptly.
'And why not?'
'Because we are two people in a world filled with a few billion.'
'Maybe if there are enough of us,' Olive says, interrupting my planned-out speech, 'and we work together well enough, and we don't change, we might fix it.'
'Too many maybes. It won't work. And the world will stuff itself up anyway.'
'Why are you so pessimistic? You're like one of the adults. You look like you already accept that we fail. You know, we can change the world, and it might be temporary and only for a few people, but it will be changed and that's a success.'
'Why are you such a kid for? Of course we fail. That's just what happens. We try, we fail, we try again, and we fail again. Same with the world. And if it's only temporary then why bother?'
Olive sighs irritably. She hates it when I say that stuff. 'If I'm a kid, you're a kid too because you're younger than me. And I'm not a kid because I'm ten. That's not kiddie. And it really depends on how you define 'fail'. If you want to succeed, you've succeeded. And we try anyway because it's nice to try. Of course it'll only stay for a bit, but maybe we can inspire other people to change the world after us, and we'll keep on doing that, and then the world would be fixed!'
'You're two minutes older than me. That doesn't count as anything.' But in reality, I'm slowly doubting myself. With enough people, maybe...
'It counts as everything and we can change the world.'
That was final. Childhood, I decided then, was the most innocent and valuable time we had. And yes, it was stupid, but maybe we could fix the broken world the adults made.
You know, I should've left the rules and guidelines business down in this author's note, but whatever.
… Mmm… average words of average… should've done better. In class.