Posted: Monday, November 12, 2012 7:16:00 AM
People change, opinions evolve, and over time, some may lose sight of who they are and where they’re headed. For the most part, this statement has been held steadfast as I’ve gotten along through three years of high school. It’s something that no one tells you as a child, mostly because it could be disheartening for our youthful ears. Instead, I had to slowly learn this myself through personal observation and sad realizations, and as time progressed, my overall view of the people around me began to gradually deteriorate. I began to think lowly of everyone, seeing my peers as petty and mindless fools who had no idea what they were doing. I became elitist, and I was lonely.
This continued all up until freshman year of high school when, one day in English, we were assigned to read yet another book I had never heard of before; this one was titled “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I picked it up and opened the first page, expecting it to be just like any other required high school reading: a brilliant and wonderful masterpiece of prose, alliteration, and other various words we learned throughout the years but honestly didn’t care about. As it turns out, the book that I had just picked up would be the first book in a long time that I would actually read. Not in a literal sense, however— “To Kill a Mockingbird” proved to be one of the most influential books in my entire lifetime. The characters, the plot, and the complete atmosphere of the novel struck a chord with me, and I’ll never forget how I felt when I first finished it. I realized, for the first time in my high school career, that I’m just as much a person as everyone else is. I saw people with faults, flaws, and failures, and in those people, I saw my own reflection. I have faults, I’m flawed, and I’ve failed, but then again, that’s just what people call “normal”. After I finished the book, I immediately began treating people as equals, helping out whenever I could, and talking and listening to those who needed it, because I could finally see the ordinary person for what they truly were: someone who wants nothing more than to do good and be good, a sort of “mockingbird” if you will. And as it was stated by Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s masterpiece of writing and literature, it is a sin to kill a mockingbird.