A Hideous Transformation: The Rise and Fall of Nick Payaitis

What started as a young, beautiful man, full of vision, potential, energy — is no more. He transformed into everything he stood against. In his efforts to resist the materialistic oppression that surrounds him, he fell to nothing more than one of the masses.

Since junior high, Nick had stood as a bastion of independent thought. Not caving to the pressure that surrounds him whether those be his peers, teachers, or the local authorities. His ideas had always been bold, different of an upper echelon.

But this is no more. This week Nick came to school wearing Sperries. Not only that, but kakis. and as if that wasn’t bad enough he had on a Polo button down. I shed a tear.

The next day he even tucked in Polo button down. HE TUCKED IN HIS SHIRT. I wasn’t sure if he had been possessed by a demon, perhaps a well dressed polish oneā€¦ But he didn’t change or show any sign of his old self. He even wore a vest with another Polo shirt.

Polo stands for all things materialistic, it is the embodiment of image over utility. People are willing to pay double triple the price just to have the little polo logo. Polo is the MAN. It ties you into a culture that only cares about the superficial.

It killed me to see a man I saw as an ally, a friend, a companion, lose track of himself. Next thing I know Nick will probably start slicking his hair back and injure his eyes on purpose so that he could wear hipster classes like the man he now emulates.

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Swim Good

In this world we have as much security as a man trying to swim in the middle of the ocean without land in sight. It has been said by many people that change is the only constant and my stint on this planet has done nothing by reaffirm this concept in my mind.

This ideology traces back to the ideas of Confucius and Buddha. Buddha believed that in our path to enlightenment we must expect that everything is subject to change because suffering in this world comes from our attachment to things we believe will remain permanent.

Ask any high schooler what they want to be when they grow up and chances are they can’t tell you their exact plans for the future. Yet most will say they want to make money, that they want a secure job with good pay so they will have a good quality of life.

I want propose the idea that security is a man-made construct that does not exist beyond the imagination. In all reality nothing is secure. Everything is subject to change.

Sadly we have yet to develop a way to see into the future. Without this power we have no way of predicting what will or could happen. This is currently happening to what used to be America’s middle class; factory jobs are being replaced by robots or outsourced, so what was once a “secure” job no longer exists.

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