Nathan has been spending time in the Mentor Foundation USA offices to develop strategy for outreach among his peers to ensure that 2014 is the most successful H&M Drug Free Slogan Campaign ever.
We would like to thank Nathan for his work over the summer. Giving young people the ability to explore what’s out there and practice the skills that interest them is what Mentor Foundation USA works for. It was a great treat for us to be able to provide this opportunity for students over the summer. Nathan is an ambitious and incredibly intelligent young man who works hard and is setting goals for himself to help Mentor Foundation USA reach as many students as possible through.
Nathan is also active with his school’s Poetry Club through Poetry Now VA as well as a writer for his school paper. As we develop our blog further Nathan will be assisting by submitting stories and poetry throughout the school year. Get to know Nathan a little better by reading his poetry on our blog in the “Poetry” section and by reading his poem below.
Every morning I lock my mind away into the narrow world of focused thinking
and force it to labor in the fields of attentive behaviour.
A tiny, beige, unsuspecting pill tells my brain what to think and how to think about it.
I am forced into thinking about what’s “important”, like school and assignments.
I consider everything else as secondary;
imagination is trivial, and daydreaming is unimportant.
Math tests aren’t passed with creativity,
so I have no choice but to disregard it.
My mind is in prison but every weekend it escapes.
It runs free into a world of things that haven’t been invented,
surrounded by people that don’t exist.
My thoughts feel like they’re on fire
As I run through fields of the fourth primary color,
living in a world with buildings 100 stories deep.
I look at things as what they could be
because normal is never good enough
Every weekend my mind is free,
and every Monday morning, week after week,
it is imprisoned again.
On weekdays I’m back to work;
my mind is a computer
calculating algebra rather creating than alien planets,
concerned with symmetrical parabolas and not shifts in gravity.
I have no choice but to focus on the worksheet on top of my desk
instead of the adventures inside of my head
that I constantly crave to crawl back into.
But that constant whirring goes on
long after the school day ends
and with no math problems left to answer
I’m forced to find something else to question:
I question the trophies on my wall
and whether I truly deserve them.
I think about my doctor
and whether he knows whats its like to be “chemically imbalanced,”
and I ask what gives him the right
To tell me how I should feel.
I am not the only one with my thoughts relentlessly tethered
to things that other people find important.
Statistically speaking, 1 in 10 of you is prescribed a psychoactive drug.
We are part of a generation of kids,
labeled from infancy by men in white suits,
people who call themselves doctors
but act more like salesmen,
telling kids they have something wrong with them,
teaching them to believe that a pill would make everything better
and preaching the belief that
being average and being cured are the same thing.
My mind is in prison with 2 million cellmates.
yes, there are people that see this prison as a sanctuary
there are people who need these pills,
but there are countless others who don’t
Kids who are growing up thinking that they need to be fixed
when they were never broken in the first place
Why did we become like this?
when did we start thinking
that just because a child’s mind wanders to far off places
that we are obligated to shackle it to the ground
was it because of test scores?
This is more than a trend,
this is more than a craze.
This is a disease we don’t even know we have
because its been killing us so slowly
and for so long,
that today over medication seems as normal as the sunrise
Our country has created a system
that knows children only by their flaws,
classifies them with jargon,
and measures them by milligrams.
We force away the flaws in our children
through tiny, beige, unsuspecting pills.
They are filled with combinations of chemicals
to match whatever quirk or characteristic
that they are meant to hide.
My pill is called adderall.
It’s called a stimulant
It’s called a cure
But it isn’t.
It’s a set of crutches
that have never let me learn how to walk,
a blank mask
that has become more familiar than my own face.
It is life raft that i want to leave,
because I’m afraid that
I’ve forgotten how to swim