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My Niece -- soon to be O'ist

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My niece Kala who is 14 years old wrote this tonight very quickly. She doesn't know about Objectivism nor has she read Rand. I wanted to share what she wrote. It needs a bit of work and smoothing it out on her part but I'm posting it as it was written the first time. She had asked me to read it so I did and it brought tears to my eyes. I absolutely adore my niece. She reminds me a lot of me at this age and she is grappling with some major ideas and her observations. Unfortunately, she has also been through a lot and has seen a lot. She's very responsible and a strong-willed little cookie.

Once I read it, I asked her if she was aware of how profound her observations were for being so young and she said no. We talked a bit about it. I asked her if I could post it to a philosophy site that I belong to and she said yes. After talking a bit about what she had written and that I would like to post it, I told her I wanted her to watch any responses from those here on OL. So much complexity is packed into one little piece and it's all coming from her -- an independent mind at the age of 14.

She's observing the pain she's in and identifying the source of that pain, the what and why and integrating it. She's fighting for individuality. She knows that decisions need to be made. She's observing grouping. She's observing that "they're" beating down the good which is herself. She's observing the need of having a good man in her life who has the same values, virtues, etc. She knows that pain is to be fought. She's observing life and death. She knows that life can be better; there's a vision there of what life could be like for her where there is no more pain. And all of this expressed very quickly. My god, I absolutely love my niece. Even more astounding that she doesn't know about the philosophy and hasn't read Rand but these are her conclusions and observations --another great mind. There's truly so many others out there who have come or are coming to the same conclusions without ever knowing about Rand -- gives even more weight to their conclusions as well as Rand's conclusions.

She sits on the swing by herself listening to music

thinking as to why she's so depressed, trying to decide life or death

wondering if she's the only one

then she hears we are the ones

we get knocked down

we get back up and stand above the crowd.

we are the ones

Then she sees a young boy, sitting on the swing next to her.

He says we are the ones

we stand above the crowd

He grabs her hand and their feet lift off the ground.

They float above the crowd

She closes her eyes and relaxes her body

wishing the pain would go away.

As her body floats freely, a tear flows down her cheek.

She hears we are the ones

we get knocked down

we get back up and stand above the crowd.

She slowly smiles and opens her eyes

she's lying in the grass and whispers We stand above the crowd

She gets up and walks into the light never seeing darkness again.

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Angie,

Your niece’s poem deals with two of the major challenges every teen must cope with: the struggle for personal identity and peer pressure (‘the crowd’). Her remarkable maturity is reflected in her determination to value and fight for her own identity—her sense of self--despite the pressure for conformity and the vicious resentment that stems from envy. When Kala says: ‘we are the ones,’ I hear her saying proudly that she knows she is being attacked by the crowd because she refuses to blend with the crowd.

She feels the pain of those attacks, but refuses to let that pain cloud her vision of who she is and what she wants. As I read her words, I kept hearing the first line of Kipling’s “IF”:“If you can keep your head when all about you, are losing theirs and blaming it on you.” Although she says she stands ‘above’ the crowd, I got the sense that she was just expressing her wish to stand apart from the crowd.

Kala clearly appreciates the importance of finding a soul-mate who shares her values to join her in her quest—suggesting that she already knows that one good, supportive relationship is worth more than all the phony, superficial ‘prestige’ in the world. But the most remarkable thing about the poem, for someone so young, is the unyielding optimism: the sense of soaring above the pain, of “walking into the light” and leaving the "darkness" behind her. The harsh reality of life's challenges can seem pretty overwhelming when you're 14. Her benevolent outlook reveals a strength and determination that is rare for someone on the threshold of life.

She truly is a remarkable young girl. And she is very fortunate to have an aunt who appreciates and encourages her insight, independence and intelligence.

Dennis

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Angie,

There was a time we all knew unequivocally that the world was there for each of us, and we were right for it. When our greatest joy was an unafraid focusing on the reality of what lay around and in front of us.

(The only tragedy in life is that some(many) allowed that to slip away, and to surrender to despair - largely because of: "you can't do that, you mustn't think that, kid.")

With her thoughtful courage, and the affirmation your niece receives from you, she's going to do just fine, I reckon. :)

Tony

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I'd be curious to see who everyone thinks came up with the "O'ist" contraction (now being done with hyphen).

Pretty sure if I wasn't the first one to use it and it caught on, it had to go more back.

Ah, it is so horrible to not get proper credit. I will take out my tiny violin and play a soothing, little song to myself.

I think I started it with "O-world."

Now don't everyone rush the gates.

rde

plagiarism, schmagiarism

Edited by Rich Engle

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Angie,

Your niece is very, very bright. Those words flow from a mind much older than 14, attesting to her maturity and grasp of the world around her.

What struck me most was the boy swinging next to her. There are others struggling with the same identity search. She is not alone in that. Some have what it takes to find that individuality. BUT, in one way, shape, or form, we've all needed a hand on planting the first firm step in the right direction. We test the waters all the time. It's nice to find those that can honestly tell you "step here, and you'll be fine." ;)

~ Shane

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Do her a favor and don't start laying Rand on her. She'll find out soon enough, and the more experience and forethought she brings to the discovery the less likely she is to turn into one of those dogmatic droids.

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Dennis,

Yes, so true and that these are two major areas a teenager battles and she is definitely battling it. What amazes me is that she is bringing many different pieces into it. It's a joy to witness. She's a remarkable little cookie and I will no doubt continue to encourage her !!! She'll be on a bit later to respond and to say thank you !!

Tony,

Also thank you and I agree. She's very courageous and one hell of a fighter; that fire is burning and will continue to burn. Knowing how I know her to be, she won't allow it to burn out. I greatly admire her strength and optimism. We get along very well and she's always tons of fun to be around. I'm here for her and she knows this.

Shane,

Yes, she is very very bright. Two of her passions are writing and drawing. She'll make her mistakes on her journey but she is the type that learns from it; she'll have to fight for it no doubt. Her feet so far are planted in the right direction and I know she'll keep marching forward with her vision in mind.

Reidy,

Exactly. Most definitely will NOT be laying Rand on her, not now or anytime soon. When the time is right I will suggest for her to read Rand but then again may not depending on what happens as there may not be a need for her to read Rand after all, especially if she's drawing the conclusions that she's now drawing on her own. I don't want the answers to be given to her. She's going to have to work for it. I can help her on her path and talking with her and intend to do this when she comes to me for help or needs to talk. I want her to understand it based on her own firsthand knowledge, experience and understanding; what she's going through in her own life. I want her to apply her own mind and trying to figure it out and focussing in on it as well as knowing herself well and why she does what she does. She's doing a great job of it so far without much help which gives me much insight that she'll be able to do it on her own without reading Rand !!!! She's an amazingly smart little lady!!!

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Hi Angie,

That is a very pretty poem that your niece wrote though I do think people are reading a bit much into it. I agree that there is an identity theme, but it sounds like she is identifying with people in similar circumstances and wishes for a boy that can understand what she is feeling. The fact that she is, "trying to decide life or death," sounds more worrisome than profound to me, yet her desire to stand above the crowd seems like a positive emotion.

At any rate, it is a beautiful little piece of writing that evokes naked emotions in the reader, both frightening and uplifting.

Darrell

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Angie,

Your niece’s poem deals with two of the major challenges every teen must cope with: the struggle for personal identity and peer pressure (‘the crowd’). Her remarkable maturity is reflected in her determination to value and fight for her own identity—her sense of self--despite the pressure for conformity and the vicious resentment that stems from envy. When Kala says: ‘we are the ones,’ I hear her saying proudly that she knows she is being attacked by the crowd because she refuses to blend with the crowd.

She feels the pain of those attacks, but refuses to let that pain cloud her vision of who she is and what she wants. As I read her words, I kept hearing the first line of Kipling’s “IF”:“If you can keep your head when all about you, are losing theirs and blaming it on you.” Although she says she stands ‘above’ the crowd, I got the sense that she was just expressing her wish to stand apart from the crowd.

Kala clearly appreciates the importance of finding a soul-mate who shares her values to join her in her quest—suggesting that she already knows that one good, supportive relationship is worth more than all the phony, superficial ‘prestige’ in the world. But the most remarkable thing about the poem, for someone so young, is the unyielding optimism: the sense of soaring above the pain, of “walking into the light” and leaving the "darkness" behind her. The harsh reality of life's challenges can seem pretty overwhelming when you're 14. Her benevolent outlook reveals a strength and determination that is rare for someone on the threshold of life.

She truly is a remarkable young girl. And she is very fortunate to have an aunt who appreciates and encourages her insight, independence and intelligence.

Dennis

Hi Dennis

I wanted to say thank you for liking my poem.

and thank you for totally understanding what i was saying

I wrote the poem because I've been going through a tough time right now at such a young age,

and one day i just decided to write down how i felt and when i finished i felt more possitve about things

and it made me move on with life and showed me that i can make it through tough times.

And also what you said about the boy and the whole relationship is true and eventhough im young i still want to find that someone :)and i hope i do someday.

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My niece Kala who is 14 years old wrote this tonight very quickly. She doesn't know about Objectivism nor has she read Rand. I wanted to share what she wrote. It needs a bit of work and smoothing it out on her part but I'm posting it as it was written the first time. She had asked me to read it so I did and it brought tears to my eyes. I absolutely adore my niece. She reminds me a lot of me at this age and she is grappling with some major ideas and her observations. Unfortunately, she has also been through a lot and has seen a lot. She's very responsible and a strong-willed little cookie.

Once I read it, I asked her if she was aware of how profound her observations were for being so young and she said no. We talked a bit about it. I asked her if I could post it to a philosophy site that I belong to and she said yes. After talking a bit about what she had written and that I would like to post it, I told her I wanted her to watch any responses from those here on OL. So much complexity is packed into one little piece and it's all coming from her -- an independent mind at the age of 14.

She's observing the pain she's in and identifying the source of that pain, the what and why and integrating it. She's fighting for individuality. She knows that decisions need to be made. She's observing grouping. She's observing that "they're" beating down the good which is herself. She's observing the need of having a good man in her life who has the same values, virtues, etc. She knows that pain is to be fought. She's observing life and death. She knows that life can be better; there's a vision there of what life could be like for her where there is no more pain. And all of this expressed very quickly. My god, I absolutely love my niece. Even more astounding that she doesn't know about the philosophy and hasn't read Rand but these are her conclusions and observations --another great mind. There's truly so many others out there who have come or are coming to the same conclusions without ever knowing about Rand -- gives even more weight to their conclusions as well as Rand's conclusions.

She sits on the swing by herself listening to music

thinking as to why she's so depressed, trying to decide life or death

wondering if she's the only one

then she hears we are the ones

we get knocked down

we get back up and stand above the crowd.

we are the ones

Then she sees a young boy, sitting on the swing next to her.

He says we are the ones

we stand above the crowd

He grabs her hand and their feet lift off the ground.

They float above the crowd

She closes her eyes and relaxes her body

wishing the pain would go away.

As her body floats freely, a tear flows down her cheek.

She hears we are the ones

we get knocked down

we get back up and stand above the crowd.

She slowly smiles and opens her eyes

she's lying in the grass and whispers We stand above the crowd

She gets up and walks into the light never seeing darkness again.

Heyy Anty!! :)

I just wanted to say thanks for the support and that your the best anty a girl can have

your like a sister me lol i can tell u anything and if theres a problem i have you help me with it you've been there through thick and thin with me and i just wanted to say thank you and that i love you and ur the best anty in the whole wide world!!! and im lucky to have you and im not sharing you...ur mine!!! hehe luv ya spankie :]] <3333

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Hi Dennis

I wanted to say thank you for liking my poem.

and thank you for totally understanding what i was saying

I wrote the poem because I've been going through a tough time right now at such a young age,

and one day i just decided to write down how i felt and when i finished i felt more possitve about things

and it made me move on with life and showed me that i can make it through tough times.

Hi Kala,

The thing I like about poetry is that you can use it to break free of negative thinking and see the world from a fresh, new perspective. It’s the difference between speaking and singing—it engages our emotions on a whole different level. You clearly have a lot of keen insight into what is happening in your life—and the poetry enabled you to get in touch with that insight. Then you could see through all the trouble and confusion and focus on the bright future ahead. You are very lucky to have an aunt like Angie for a role model. She has been where you are right now. You have only to follow in her footsteps.

And also what you said about the boy and the whole relationship is true and eventhough im young i still want to find that someone :)and i hope i do someday.

You will find that someone, and he will feel very fortunate that you walked into his life. One day, when the two of you are alone, tell him about what really matters to you, then look deep into his eyes. I mean really look. That will help you to know if he’s the one.

Dennis

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