“Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
There have been three major violent attacks in the United States in the past six weeks. A shooter in Las Vegas killed 58 people and injured 546 others attending a music festival. In another attack, in New York City, a man murdered eight people and injured 12 using a rented truck from Home Depot to plow into them. Last Sunday, a man killed 26 and injured 20 people attending Sunday services at a church in a small town in Texas. As humans sharing the world, it is hard to believe how commonplace violence is, whether in the form of a “lone shooter” or as an “act of terrorism.” Instead of feeling the shock and horror we should, we have almost become numb in reaction to these outrageous and revolting events.
As a 17-year-old, I have never known a time in America where there wasn’t violence. I was just 1 year old when the 9/11 attacks happened. I have lived through many acts of violence, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012. That same year, Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African- American from Florida, was fatally shot, ironically, by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Whether it’s a mass attack, mass shooting or the killing of one person, the action is violence and the result is the same—death. And we are left asking ourselves, “Why?” What can we do about it?
As teens, we don’t have to feel powerless. There are things we can do. One thing we can do is to raise awareness about religion and racism. Interfaith programs at our churches, synagogues, mosques and temples can help promote goodwill and understanding through diversity. By seeing that we share faith in a higher power and working together for the greater good, we promote understanding. Programs like Harvard University’s The Pluralism Project runs the Interfaith Youth Leadership Coalition in the St. Paul, Minn., area, where “teens work together to nurture interfaith understanding, reduce prejudice and misunderstanding, and act together on common values through service and justice to transform their worlds. In the process, these young people are empowered to be capable interfaith leaders, both within their own communities and beyond.” This program includes many community-based events like a gardening service as well as leadership workshops for the teens. Having more programs like this one, throughout the United States and the world, will help cultivate more understanding leadership and promote greater understanding among different religions.
Teens can also raise awareness of gun violence. Events such as Seattle, Washington’s “Teens Against Guns Youth Summit,” hosted by the Atlantic Street Center, are a way to bring teens together to actively support the anti-gun movement at a grassroots level. Programs like these can help empower teens to help them realize they can be proactive in ending the cycle of violence.
Another way teens can use their voice to denounce violence and terror is through social media. When she was challenged by another student to prove there were Muslims who condemned violence in the name of Islam, Heraa Hashmi, a 19-year-old college student at the University of Colorado Boulder, decided to make a list of all the Muslim groups that did. According to a November 2016 Teen Vogue article, “ The result was Worldwide Muslims Condemn List — a spreadsheet with 5,720 instances of Muslim groups and leaders denouncing various acts of terrorism.” Her Twitter account generated 12,000 re-tweets and the list has been made into an interactive website called www.muslimscondemn.com. Her idea led to a resource for anyone to access the information.
Whether coming together in an interfaith group, rallying at an anti-gun youth summit or using social media to create awareness against violence, teens have a voice. Gun violence and terror attacks need to end in my generation. Maybe Mr. Rogers (Fred Rogers), said it best: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ ” We, as teens, need to be those helpers.
1061 WordsMay 19th, 20165 Pages
Although a society based on hate can survive, it is highly unlikely. In 1984, by George Orwell, the party kept the people under full control by brainwashing them. This is not realistic because in today’s world someone, whether it be another government or the people living in this society, would end it. People of today have been taught that they have rights and if those rights are taken away, something isn’t right. There are many examples on why a society could not thrive purely on hatred, some of which are present in 1984, The Lives of Others, and the real world. The society Winston and Julia live in in 1984 is a society based on hate. The evidence to back that up would include O’Brien, at the end of the novel, telling Winston there is…show more content…
Another prime example as to why societies based on hate couldn’t last is the German film “Lives of Others.” This is a film based on a true story that happened in East Germany before the wall fell. It is about a playwright named George and how the Stasi had one of its members bug the house, hide out in the attic, and report on everything that George and his friends said. This would have worked, but the Stasi member began to realize the corruption of the government and ceased his reports on George. The Stasi member goes to the length of breaking into George’s house to hide a type writer used to write and article against the government so when the Stasi searched the house, it wouldn’t be there. This is an example as to why a society can’t survive on hate by showing that even members of the government will begin to realize the corruption of the wrong-doings by the government and eventually go against them. Also, in East Germany, the wall eventually did fall, along with the government, which led to an oppression-free government. Although countries can get away with oppressing their people, it usually ends in failure because the people realize their rights or the government members realize how bad the things they are doing to their own people really are. Other examples as to why societies based on hate would eventually fall are present in the real world as well. A well-known example would be the Holocaust.