WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE?

This is the first piece of writing I submitted for consideration to someone who was not one of my teachers.  Rather, it was the essay portion of a scholarship I competed for when I finished high school and was about to start college.  It was 1985.  I was 18 years old.  The title, “Where have all the flowers gone?” was given as the prompt for the essay, and you were supposed to write an essay to go with that title.  Here’s mine.  I used a typewriter to produce the original version (see below) before we even had word processors, let alone personal computers!  I was rejected.  It is said that the job of an artist is to accurately reflect the times…

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE?

Throughout literature children have been symbolized as flowers.  The comparison does not hold true as time passes, however, because children from generation to generation are so distinct.  In fact, saintly children from the past worthy of being symbolized as flowers are scarce if not extinct in the modern world.  The reason for the dwindling amount of flowers is the way in which society is changing in attitude and action according to the technological advances being made.  The close-knit family unit has disintegrated since women have etched their own space in the man’s world.  Now computers and tape recorders read to children in place of parents, thereby causing neglect of the love and respect factor.  Children are not taught to love and respect because they are raised by friends and babysitters.  The increased amount of knowledge available makes kids feel smarter than their elders.  They believe knowledge replaces experience and is more important.  They fail to realize that experience and not book knowledge is the true teacher.  Therefore, respect for elders is lost.  Because of the pressures and stress of the fast-paced lifestyle necessary to survive in today’s society, little things like fishing with grandpa have little or no value anymore.  People are more concerned with how many errands they can run in one day and how much money they can earn than with planning a family picnic.  Materialism is obviously overpowering humanism and appreciation for nature.  Such a materialistic outlook can only lead to immorality because materialism completely deviates from the principles of the bible which are the only basis of right and wrong conduct that exists.  Since religion is being replaced by science and the need for God by money, moral standards are being diluted.  Modern-day children lack appreciation and have only expectations.  Modern conveniences like dishwashers, microwave ovens, and cars facilitate life.  Walking two miles to school through rain and snow and doing three hours of chores before breakfast are unheard of today.  Since things come too easily to today’s children, they are much more improvident, squandering, and wasteful.  As a painful but honest look reveals, the flowers are fading, wilting, and drying up through the generations.

Where have all the flowers gone p1

Where have all the flowers gone p2

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