Story: The Classroom
Children represent humanity in its basal form. Having not yet fully absorbed the rules and standards of society, they give us a window into our fundamental nature. Children can be kind, generous, even selfless, but they can also be senselessly cruel.
Killing ants with magnifying glasses, bullying kids for being different or “ugly”, fighting both physically and verbally, these are just a few of the thoughtless acts children are capable of. They have not yet graduated to adult level cruelty, and for this we often see them as being crueler than ourselves.
Through this we can see that cruelty is not instilled by society, but is a part of our fundamental nature. After all, these children are cruel regardless of their adoption into society. Through following these children to adulthood, we can see that society does not remedy this problem fully, in many cases, the best it can do is cover it up, and still our fundamental nature often breaks through.
Rather than crush the evil part of our nature, society and law simply cover it up, force it to change from mocking to gossiping, from beating to exclusion and racism. Only occasionally does society allow its members to break out into basal violence and cruelty. While not necessarily more or less cruel, these changes are easier to stomach than the more barbaric cruelty of our childhood, easier to call “civil”. This does not make them better; the cruelty and the capacity to do evil is still there.And this leads us back to our base nature, which, unfortunately, is composed of no small part of cruelty.
This being the case, we must take efforts to quell this disease in its earliest stage, childhood. This is why I am here, looking down at sixty-eight little eyes waiting for me to begin my spiel, and secretly hoping I take extra long so they’ll miss all of math. I open my mouth to speak, but my breath chokes. I turn away to gather myself, biting my lip hard to keep focus and stem the tears welling up in my eyes. Turning back to the class I slip my hand quietly into my pocket, and rub the last picture of my little boy. I speak.
I look down and am greeted with the bright and shining faces that can only belong to those who have not yet experienced the terrors of the world… or those whose spirits are too strong to be tarnished by it.
Thirty-four schoolchildren wait patiently, glad to take leave of their normal schedule; this time is usually reserved for math. They stare at me, curious and interested as to who this mystery speaker is exactly, and what they will talk about. Mostly they want to know if I have brought any treats or toys.
Unfortunately for them, all I brought was my voice.
The Beast – I am a college student majoring in biology who also has a strong interest in writing and photography. Oh yeah, and I hear voices. My blog, Mouth of the Beast, is mostly about biology-related subjects, and my life in college with mental illness.