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A pair of hands are holding a lit candle. The candle is lighting the hands while the rest of the image is in darkness.

A Burning Question

mental health resilience Dec 27, 2022

Written by Israel Lozano, a BRITE youth spokesperson.

Our souls are like a candle

We start with one spark 

And ultimately wait until it’s put out

Once again, left in the dark

Candles aren’t meant to be long lasting

Earth, wind, water, even fire

Our flames can diminish like

Dried up spinach and while we hope our flame 

Just lasts longer than the rest

That’s not how candles work

That’s not how our souls work

So when we don’t fan our desires

But just try and keep the candle new 

Keep the candle the way it started

Instead of feeding passion, heat 

Preserve the past you couldn’t keep

When we meet other souls 

And they tell us that’s who we should be 

Suddenly we’re mimes, mimicry 

Years of hearing 

“You’re so mature for your age

Wise, responsible

You’re not like whoever these days.”

When did we start accepting 

That candles have to light themselves?

When was it okay to say “Be an adult” 

To the same people who don’t know

How to pay taxes, how to pay rent

How to drive, how to begin to cement 

A legacy, how to even begin to show society 

Fiscal worth, let alone personal worth

We don’t expect candles to light themselves 

Why do we expect a lot of our youth 

To earn respect they haven’t learned

Why do we expect our youth to 

Ignite their own passions

When we haven’t lit up enough of whatever flame

Is still hidden within their name? 

And when the candle melts 

You can always find a new one to reignite 

But how do you reignite a person

Once they’ve been melted and left in darkness? 

Left only to remember 

The first ignition 

But not the second, third, fourth fanning

So we walk into adulthood

Told we’re barely good for one thing

And we just think, damn 

Why are adults so damn unhappy?