We NEED to talk

Americans are scared. They’re scared because they feel vulnerable. They are scared because terrorism isn’t supposed to be an issue for them. Because they were always safe and what happened in other countries was only five minutes of news on their TVs. But today, they fear everyday. They’re no longer safe and they know it.
“Terrorism scares us because four men in casual suites can bomb a bank. The weak are the ones who we have to worry about now and that’s what scares us. The rich do it with war, the rest do it through terrorism,” Ms. L says.
As a group of 16-18 year-old students, we argue back and forth on whether war is the same thing as terrorism. We try to figure out situations in which killing becomes okay.
Is it ever okay to kill? Haven’t we been killing each other for centuries? Why is terrorism any different than war?
Back in the day, terms like sex and birth control were taboo. Today, it’s things like gay marriage and terrorism that incites controversy. But we can’t just walk away from these issues. We have to talk about them, discuss them, and look for ways to change them and learn about possible solutions. We need to stop whispering. We need to stop changing the subject. We need to stop changing channels to watch our favorite soap operas. We need to start looking for solutions. We need to talk.
I admire Ms. L because she decided to make a difference by teaching. After years of actively participating in rallies and protests, she saw that the only way she could do something was to teach. She didn’t stop her activism. She didn’t stop believing that there was a solution. She simply chose a different method, one that made sense to her. And it’s working. She is making a difference everyday.
In a world where there is war, crime, corruption, and a list of other things we rather not think about, there are people around us that strive to make change. Ordinary people do great things everyday and that is something we shouldn’t forget.
***
Class ended with an unfinished discussion and a variety of answers and questions marks. But we talked. That’s a good start for now.

One Comment, RSS

  1. Amy May 21, 2006 @ 7:29 pm

    these are the things I’m going to sit in my dorm room and cry over next year. these are the memories i’m going to want to keep when we go away, and she’s the one i’m going to remember.

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