Creating ourselves through self-destruction: A teenager’s view

teenWhether or not you’d like to admit, all of us are highly destructive. We destroy. That’s what we, as humans do. It’s what we’re best at.

A passion to destroy is also a creative passion. Our founding fathers didn’t “destroy” the native civilizations, they “created” their own. We didn’t “destroy” the tree, we “created” paper. You didn’t create a painting, you destroyed a perfectly good white canvas. You didn’t create music, you destroyed the silence. Just about everything we do has both a creative and destructive side affect

As soon we’re born, we start to self-destruct. Every second 5 million cells die across our body, 300 mil a minute. Boom! Gone. Gone. Gone. We are constantly on self-destruct mode, every second, our life bomb counts down to zero, then restarts again.

I think we’ve all seen a toddler or younger kid playing with building blocks or Legos of some sort. They always build something up, just to knock it straight back down. We do the exact same thing

By destructing ourselves piece by piece, we accomplish things like healing our wounds, growing taller, and overall just maintaining a healthy state of living.

So something that may seem unnecessary and harmful, can also be viewed as beneficial and constructive in the long run. In other words, By destroying ourselves, just as a toddler destroys his Lego tower, we are given room to grow and create something new and potentially better.

In my school, we all wear a uniform. Even teachers are required to wear a uniform, but have you ever thought why? I mean genuinely “why do we really do this?” Most of us probably haven’t. It’s Hard to question something in your daily routine. Something that is a habit.

One way you can look at it is that by wearing our uniforms we create a commonality among us, as well as a sense of community. At the same time we, are also destroying a piece of our individuality and freedom to self-express. We destroy a piece of ourselves in order to create something else.

We have to weigh out the outcomes when it comes to making choices. We, or our parents, may feel that a better education and sense of community gain may be more important than the individuality you lose.

As we grow up, we destroy our innocence in order to create our adult persona. We destroy one version of ourselves in order to transform into another. This happens when anyone changes a slight bit. It could be as subtle as having a different favorite color or as drastic as having a different set of views or values.

As teens, we are probably in the most destructive period of our lives right now. We are constantly creating and destroying ourselves in order to find what fits. We play with types of music, hobbies, different ways of presenting ourselves, and most of all we alter our appearance.

I don’t mean plastic surgery, I mean the little things. Wearing makeup, dyeing your hair, even just shaving. When we do this, we destroy a natural authenticity. Our genuine appearance. Then again, we create a new aesthetic for ourselves. We create a opportunity to either conform to social beauty standards, or rebel. We destroy our PG filter and replace it with a more advanced, and crude vocabulary.

My last example is school. Not just one aspect of it. School as a whole. We start school at a young age. We start preschool around 2 or 3 years old. We learn our numbers and letters, and then we move to a primary or elementary school. Then comes middle school and high school.

That is 15 years of our life gone. Some may even say wasted. Don’t forget college. Four years at minimum, unless of course you drop out early, and you can always stay longer. From a young age we either push, or are pushed to excel at homework and tests and persuasive speeches. We destroy any remnant of free time, and sometimes our childhood as a whole.

What do we get from this? Why are we here in this room at this very moment? What’s the point? We create stress. We create a better understanding of the world and people around us with history. We create a better understanding of the earth and life around us with science.

We create language, and a way to communicate with English. And we create a second, numerical language with math. Most of all, we create a better understanding of ourselves. We create social skills, and problem solving skills. We create relationships and time management. We create job opportunities for ourselves with proper schooling even though we destroyed all that time and peace of mind.

As soon as we’re born, we start to self-destruct. We don’t have the choice to destroy or not to destroy. The only thing we can choose is how and what we destroy. We thrive off of destruction. It shapes us, it normalizes us, it makes us human. So whether you’re painting, shaving or simply going to school, just know that a passion to destroy is a creative passion, because before you start building a brand new Lego tower, you have to knock down the old one.

  • Stacy Mergenthal

    A very thoughtful piece. Sometimes the destruction-creation process is clearer, more obvious than other times, but I believe you’re correct about everything being part of that process. You’ve pointed out some great examples. Right now, there are millions of people rejecting the political establishment, destroying it, so that they may create a new, more forward-thinking, more fair system. It’s very brave of us, don’t you think? We don’t always know what will be created from the rubble but we carry on. There’s a kind of hope there; that what we build will be better than what we destroyed.

    Great writing, thanks for sharing.

  • Joan

    Just read this post. It gave me a whole new perspective, Profound piece from a 15 year old! Keep writing you have a great future.

  • tenbears

    Planet eaters. Someday we will build a Death Star.

    I’ve sent this to my fifteen year old grandson. He won’t read it.