Sarah Kay – Not Just Another Math Problem

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How did we get stuck in this empty v-generation? In this brand-spanking new games stagnation? Where rash regurgitation of hip-hop leads to celebration- that intelligence constipation, where kids are losing all concentration in trying to suppress their hard-earned education, and planting instead a language mutation of slang words and curse words to give the sensation of pure teenage anger and social frustration. With the stipulation that articulation is a dying form of communication, so leading to the misconstrued idea that youths’ innovation or inspiration can only come in the form of a rap, or rhyme, or an angry pop song, or advertisement, or the label on the back of designer clothes.

It’s not that we’re shallow, no, it’s that we’re surface we’re laid on looking less provoked, we’re thrown as stone and see how deep these waters are. It’s not that we’re shallow, no, it’s that we lack something to focus on and we’re left with only empty hearts and angry hormones. Give us something to fight for, and we will fight. Because ask the youth of the world today and they will tell you, we are not scared of dying for a cause, we are scared of not finding a cause worth dying for.

I know hands make me the devil’s playground, and our minds are ripped through pleasure grounds. Left alone, we would rather trust each other before we trust ourselves. Who will teach us- united we stand but divided we fall but anyone in front of us willing to lead the way so whatever happened to fifth grade math? Will you teach us how not to divide ourselves based on skin colour or sexual orientation, clothing brands or music taste? Will you teach us how to avoid multiplying at a rate we can’t control? Trying to console pregnant teenage girls and stupefied adolescent fathers.

We know so little, yet fear so much. We aspire not to expire at the hand of some infectious disease. Please, inspire us, set fire to us, tell us what you require from us- just don’t let hope retire from us. Who will teach us, because guns don’t kill people, ignorance does. Can the youth of the world add education, knowledge, and opportunity, subtract free form prejudices and hatred, factorise, but make sure not to cancel out hope? Don’t worry about if it’ll succeed, you’ll see it’s already in the equation.

We do not want to be an annoyance. We don’t want to be in the way, we’re not just another math problem adults have to work around; we want to be the ones to solve it. See, I’m that kid at the back of the class. I’m that kid at the back of the class. I’m the kid at the back of the class, I’m the kid at the back of the class with his hand raised to the sky. Hand raised to the sky, with his hand raised to the sky, just begging for a shot at that math problem, waiting for shot at that math problem, aching for a shot at the math problem. Just- praying for a shot at the future.

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