First off, great work. Impressive that you're 13, but have the wisdom and where-with-all to articulate the honest opinions of a person well beyond your years. And good job for standing up for what you believe in. With this strong sense of self and conviction you will go very far.
Our city has a similar demonstration going on. Complete hypocrites! They're chanting that corporate America is evil, yet I see half of them video taping the demonstration using their iPhones, and a bunch of them have Starbucks coffee. I bet many of them drove there in brand new VW Jettas. The police stood by and let them have at it. In fact, law enforcement leadership met with city leaders and demonstrators and came away "baffled as to how to respond." Huh???
These people don't have a permit, so they're breaking the law. They're blocking the streets, so that's breaking the law too. They vandalized a few police cars, which is also illegal. Why no one has been arrested is beyond me. If I tried to do any of those things I'd be thrown in the clink so fast my head would spin.
I grew up knowing the value of a dollar and a hard day's work. My parents both worked so they could put my younger brother and I through private schools. Keep in mind that back in the 70s and 80s, the public school system in Hawaii (where I was born and raised), wasn't the greatest, and to some degree still isn't up to par. Needless to say, I never got an allowance, and everything I did get was earned through chores around the house.
Like you, I saved every penny I got from birthdays and Christmases, and had to learn how to balance my own savings account. My first car didn't come until a few months after I graduated from high school, and even then I was given a $1,500 "loan" from my dad, which I promptly paid back in full in about two years. Many of my classmates in high school had cars, many of which were bought by their parents.
I paid for my own college tuition. When I realized that my work hours were overtaking my school hours, I joined the National Guard so I could take advantage of the tuition waiver Hawaii has, and utilize the GI Bill. I finally graduated with a degree, and as my father told me, it was much more precious to me because I paid for it myself.
There seems to be a level of expectation that a lot of young people have nowadays. I don't understand it one bit. Why would anyone "expect" something for doing nothing? What happened to the concept of a hard day's work and pay to reflect that? I washed dishes, pumped gas, and cut grass as I grew up so I could earn money for the things I wanted. Throughout college I bussed and waited tables to pay for my tuition, gas, car and entertainment. A lot of young people I talk to wouldn't dare work in any of those jobs... it's too "beneath" them.
Oh sure, I now own an iPod, iPhone, computer, a nice house, a nice car, and all the trappings of adult life, but I earned all those things by working hard. When I see some people 'acquire' these things from rich parents, it makes me angry. My parents gave me life, and a primary education. They also gave me wisdom and knowledge, and the freedom and ability to become anything I wanted to be. I never expected them to lavish me with an unending stream of "toys" and trinkets. What makes these other people so different?
Blame society. Blame the government. Blame the youngsters. But I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of their parents. They obviously screwed up somewhere along the line, and raised co-dependent kids who feel the world owes them something, but aren't willing to earn it. And so when the bottom drops out on the economy, and they lose their job, they're going to sit back and complain until someone comes to the rescue. Just like their parents "bailed" them out when they were younger, they're going to wait for the government (or someone else) to bail them out again. Sad, really sad.
You, however, obviously have been raised by the right kind of parents. So when you finish reading (and posting this on your blog), turn around and thank them for me. Thank them for doing the right thing and raising you the right way. We need more people like them (and my parents too).
Thank you for reading and allowing me to vent.