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My Cause: Family

Joined: 1/8/2011
Posts: 1
At 5:30 in the morning, the only thing I needed to do more than make myself a bowl of oatmeal was not make myself a bowl of oatmeal. Though my stomach screamed impatiently at me, so did my phone, alarm clock, and brain, all telling me I was late to school. I had no time for oatmeal’s warmth and comforting consistency—a mushy mouthful reminiscent of applesauce and baby food, nourishment of earlier days, when technology didn’t rule our lives and we weren’t perpetually late. It speaks of a time when people remembered, while dashing out the door to whatever tyrannical organization for which they worked, that the most important organization is one’s family.
Without family, no other organizations exist. Though Microsoft processes our documents, Tyson Foods Inc our food, and Mac OS X our computer data, family processes us. Connected by blood—not the Internet—our family members ever console us and bolster us against the wind left in the wake whipped up by the world’s frantic pace.
In eighth grade, a group of my peers teamed up. Together they fired off a series of invectives at me. As each pointed phrase and action found its mark, I winced further and further into a shell of depression. Anorexia nervosa seized me. Under its care, I was sued by my peers on charges of inadequacy and inability to fit in. Defended by the vigilant care of my family, I was vindicated of all charges and brought gradually out of my inner prison back to the light of health and happiness.
With a ten percent mortality rate, anorexia nervosa proved a difficult foe. With the rapid, expanding technology epitomized by cell phones and computers, both of which facilitated my peers’ harassment of me, acquiring it proved easy. Because of the technology people so desperately cling to—as though relinquishing devices for but a moment would be to relinquish one’s hold on life—expands yearly and promises to do so in 2011, the need for family has become more essential than ever. A parent won’t power down when most needed, nor will a sibling be rendered useless because of a dead battery. Because family helps us come to terms with and helps us solve our problems, thus enabling us to get through life, it will have the biggest impact on people’s lives in 2011.
The world is not slowing down: it’s spinning just as fast for us as it had the Cro-Magnons. We, however, the population of 2011, are speeding up, to the point where a ten minute drive is a hull and waiting half a day for an e-mail absurd. Bearing this breathless pace in mind, we must, in 2011, hold tight to the institution that made us and enables us to keep going. As we embrace the New Year, let us also embrace our family members. For family generously offers us all the time in the world, while the world can’t spare us ninety seconds for a bowl of oatmeal.
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Comment by etiquetteguy

Joined: 6/22/2009
Posts: 52
Thank you for sharing this personal story. Family is the unit which healthy societies require to survive. There are endless reasons to support and encourage strong families. Today's families extend well outside the boundaries of the house. Healthy communities can encourage families and can also team together to help those in need of support. This is a beautifully written essay. Thank you for sharing a part of you with all of us. Continued success!
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 4:53:32 PM
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Comment by AmyDoodle

Joined: 6/23/2009
Posts: 38
Terrific insight. Also, I love the continuity from referencing the oatmeal at the beginning and at the end.
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 1:04:38 AM
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Comment by DarkStar49

Joined: 5/28/2009
Posts: 332
This was a great essay! I had an experience was I was your age with someone I knew who suffered similar consequences as you with anorexia. Sadly she is not here today to share her experiences due to the unforgiving peer cruelness that was shot her direction constantly. It has impacted me for life. Thanks for being so strong and speaking out for those who cannot. I have always stated that friends will come and go....but family is forever! Good luck with your bright future.
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 6:17:16 AM
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Comment by bugcandy

Joined: 11/5/2008
Posts: 286

Your essay has been selected as one of the finalists for the January student writing contest.

Check this page within the next few days as we'll be announcing the winner soon. If you are selected as the winner, we'll contact you about where to send the prize package (look for an email from me).

We look forward to reading more of your writing on the site! Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.

--Eric Thiegs, CEO, and The Stage of Life Editorial Team

P.s. By the way, if you haven't entered the current month's writing contest, we hope you do. Congrats again!
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 1:55:10 PM
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