The people who can’t sleep because they need to burst into tears but just can’t, the people who feel as if their voice has been taken from them, the people who worry day and night about the future of their children, this one’s for you.
Sometimes I look at our world and wonder how we got here. As a Christian, I believe that the world was once perfect. There was a time when evil was powerless on Earth. But now, we live on a planet that has been corrupted by darkness, but people are blinded by their own negativity. So what happened? How did we get from that picture-perfect home to the world we have today?
I remember when life was simple. When I could sit in class without hearing 20 curse words being shouted across the room. When I could go to school without being constantly judged and painted as someone I’m not. When I could walk down the sidewalk carefree, my only concern what I would eat for lunch that day. But has the world really become worse, or have I just become old enough to see clearly? Did kids not curse at each other or did my “Hannah Montana” soundtrack block it out? Was I free of judgement or did I just not care enough to notice the glares and whispers? Were the streets really ever safe or did I just think so because I was holding my mom’s hand?
I may never know the answers to these questions, but I do know one thing: we are dying. As a human race, we are slowly killing each other. We have become such a competitive society that pushing others down to become closer to success is normalized.
I have personally experienced attacks from my peers, for people often see me as a punching bag or a scapegoat, but rarely as a person who has feelings and can get hurt. Three years ago, my closest friend spread rumors about me so she could fit in with the “popular” kids. Two years ago, a girl I thought was my friend listened quietly as our classmates made fun of the way I talked. Also, my group had a graduation party and invited everyone but me.
Last year, someone I was running against for class president posted an off-guard picture of me and added a vulgar comment. This year I was cursed at for defending a teacher from her own students. Last month I found out people who I don’t even know think they understand who I am through rumors they heard through the grapevine.
In the last two weeks I think I have been cursed at about 15 times. (Now imagine how many times it would have been in a year.) Even adults have cursed at me. Last week half of my school began to hate me for standing up for myself. Yesterday I was told that my friend couldn’t even look at me anymore. Today I was flipped off by an 18 year old in the hallway on my way to the office. Today my mom and I were cursed out by a delivery man. And that’s not even all.
I could go on for four pages, maybe even more, listing the ways that I have been attacked. But I won’t, because that’s not the point. It’s what’s happened to all of us.
We watch the news as broadcasts about rapes, murders, suicides that were driven by bullying, terrorist attacks, wars, and other acts of injustice occur, and yet we do nothing. We just sit there and continue to sip our lattes, continue to talk to our friends, continue go on with whatever we were doing and ignore what’s happening as if our lives are more important than those of victims. But that could not be further from the truth, for what happens to one of us will eventually affect all of us.
Why are we allowing our world to succumb to mass destruction? Why are we idly watching as our own brothers and sisters tear our home to pieces? I promised myself a long time ago that I would change the world. Except back then, I didn’t know how much work had to be done. Nevertheless, I will not stand here and witness my world be attacked, beaten, and robbed. And you shouldn’t either.