The Internet’s ablaze with a poem which is trending and the touching tale of a 14-year old boy restoring faith through his words.  Strangely familiar words, in fact.

(Note: if you’ve already read the poem, don’t turn way. You’ll want to skip down to the bottom and catch the comments)

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 8.30.11 PM

Our generation will be known for nothing.
Never will anybody say,
We were the peak of mankind.
That is wrong, the truth is
Our generation was a failure.
Thinking that
We actually succeeded
Is a waste. And we know
Living only for money and power
Is the way to go.
Being loving, respectful, and kind
Is a dumb thing to do.
Forgetting about that time,
Will not be easy, but we will try.
Changing our world for the better
Is something we never did.
Giving up
Was how we handled our problems.
Working hard
Was a joke.
We knew that
People thought we couldn’t come back
That might be true,
Unless we turn things around
(Read from bottom to top now)


Oh, what a plot twist! Here’s what it reads when it’s reversed from the bottom to the top:

Unless we turn things around
That might be true,
People thought we couldn’t come back
We knew that
Was a joke.
Working hard
Was how we handled our problems.
Giving up
Is something we never did.
Changing our world for the better
Will not be easy, but we will try.
Forgetting about that time,
Is a dumb thing to do.
Being loving, respectful, and kind
Is the way to go.
Living only for money and power
Is a waste. And we know
We actually succeeded
Thinking that
Our generation was a failure.
That is wrong, the truth is
We were the peak of mankind.
Never will anybody say,
Our generation will be known for nothing.

(and the web goes wild!)

So, what’s the punchline?

it’s completely plagiarized.

At least, in this man’s opinion.

As you’ll see below, the words may be different, but the theme, the style and the construct are the same.  I can’t imagine how he could not have read the poem below, then wrote his own version without giving credit to the original.

Imagine that. In an attempt to extoll the virtues of and hope for his generation, he exhibited exactly what their problem is; a lack of capacity for original thought and a great sense of entitlement for other people’s property.

Jonathan Reed wrote the original.

– The Lost Generation –

I am part of a lost generation.
And I refuse to believe that
I can change the world.
I realize this may be a shock, but
“Happiness comes from within”
Is a lie, and
“Money will make me happy”
So in thirty years, I will tell my children
They are not the most important thing in my life.
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
Work
Is more important than
Family
I tell you this:
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
But this will not be true in my era.
This is a quick fix society
Experts tell me
Thirty years from now, I will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of my divorce.
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making.
In the future,
Environmental destruction will be the norm.
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this Earth.
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic.
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.
And all of this will come true unless we reverse it.

[And in revers, it reads…]

And all of this will come true unless we reverse it.

There is hope.
It is foolish to presume that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic.
It will be evident that
My peers and I care about this Earth.
No longer can it be said that
Environmental destruction will be the norm.
In the future,
I will live in a country of my own making.
I do not concede that
Thirty years from now, I will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of my divorce.
Experts tell me
This is a quick fix society
But this will not be true in my era.
Families stayed together
Once upon a time
I tell you this:
Family
Is more important than
Work
My employer will know that
They are not the most important thing in my life.
So in thirty years, I will tell my children
“Money will make me happy”
Is a lie, and
“Happiness comes from within”
I realize this may be a shock, but
I can change the world.
And I refuse to believe that
I am part of a lost generation.

…and there you have it, folks.  An all-too-fitting demonstration of what, exactly, is wrong with the upcoming generation.  Not only do they lack original thought, but somewhere along the line they managed to get the impression that the key to their success is not to work hard, but to cheat: to go find the work another man and simply steal their fame (and fortune).  Because, you know.. you’re entitled to such things without putting in any actual effort.  The worst part, perhaps, is that he probably actually believes in the subject matter, that his generation is special and that he deserves credit for Jonathan Reed’s fine piece of work.

Hopefully, he’ll learn to see both the irony in his actions and the error in his ways. Hopefully they all will… before it’s too late.

[A side note to aspiring writers out there.  It’s okay to be inspired by someone’s work. It’s even okay write something quite similar.  However, it’s not okay not to include credit to the author of the original piece.  My own collections include a piece inspired by Maya Angelou and an adaptation of a piece by James Kavanaugh… and they both clearly state that wherever they appear in print.]

Advertisements