Just Following Directions


They tell me,

Do your homework, study well, and get good grades,

Not caring about what I feel,

Identifying me as a number, just another part of the machine,

Working as a slave for their numbers that give them the big green rectangles,

Gold appearing in their eyes when they see it come to them from my success,

No credit for me, just sending me on my merry way for more “education”

They have written on the walls,

Creeds stating their promise to format me into a well-behaved citizen.

They tell me I cannot do whatever I want, wear whatever I would like, be who I wish to be,

But rather that I must function like any other good member of society,

Instead of caring about what I want to do with my one shot at this life.

This is what my schools have told me.


They tell me,

I cannot love him, I must love her,

Even though I know who I truly love and it is my choice.

They tell me not to ridicule their God,

For he will save me from my sins if I beg for forgiveness,

But who is “he” to judge what is good and bad?

Why can I not choose my path for myself?

They reply: just keep walking the path we have laid out for you,

Do not question or you will stick out.

They tell me to vote for their politicians,

But I know that all I am voting for is another corrupt soul,

Ready to manipulate those beneath them for power.

They tell me I must conform to their standards or I will stick out.

This is what society has told me.


They tell me,

“We love you”

And that they support me.

Yet they still question my beliefs, my individuality, my chosen path of life.

They tell me I am afflicted,

That societal standards and ideals have poisoned my mind and chosen for me, who I really am,

But in reality, they are the poisoned ones.

They who tell me they support me and my choices,

But tell me I need money, a good job, a good family, a good school to succeed in life.

Who is really afflicted by societal standards? I wonder sometimes,

But I am told not to argue, because it could be worse.

This is what my family tells me.



What could be worse than being told who I am?

Being dehumanized, turned into a number,

Turned into a statistic, a machine,

A conformer, a law abiding citizen, the list goes on!

What could be worse than telling me I cannot choose my path!

They tell me I cannot choose!


This is what they tell me.

Society, school, family,

Everyone tells me all of this.

And because of it, I am afraid,

I hide behind a wall of deception,

Nobody knows the true me.

They have made sure the true me is locked up tight behind bars,

Never allowed to come out while the doppelgänger they created

Is running about controlling the show.

I wonder if I will ever be able to be me.

But I am just told “follow the path we have laid out you”

This is what everyone tells me.

And so, I am forced to just be another number following directions.

Will I ever be able to be me?


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