Jan 07

I Believe In Us

The first time I heard of the wave of school shootings streaking across our nation, I was shaken to the core of my being.

The second time, I was scared but not shocked.

By the third time, I was used to getting alerts about students being shot in one of the few places they should feel safe. And that’s not a sentence anyone should ever have been able to say.

I read the stories online. I read the obituaries of the students, who had opportunities awaiting them they would never be able to take. Acceptances into college, internships, places on sports teams that were robbed from them in a single bullet.

I read the stories of the survivors as well.

The survivors who were using their experience as the base of a movement to end school shootings. The students who were organizing protests, parades, pleas to those who could make a change to do so. The students who were making their voices heard, screaming at the top of their lungs, “No more. Never again.”

These teenagers are taking the initiative where the adults in power will not. Even with limited power to make the decisions needed, they refuse to back down. And they are influencing the rest of us, too.

Young people are starting to get more involved in the workings of our country. They are fighting for their beliefs and spreading the word that even if we don’t have any power legally, we’ll have it soon. In the meantime, we are rising, and quickly. And it’s a very good thing that we’re doing so. Should we lay submissive to the adults who assure us they know best, we would grow up to a world far beyond our capability to save.

I know this because I, and the people around me, can feel the effects of the political world on our backs like a scorching wind in an endless desert. We are the ones learning drills for potential school shooters. We are the ones discussing the guns laws in hushed voices in corridors, the once rhetorical question of, “What can we do to help?” replaced by intention for action. We are the ones picking sides in the zoo of elephants and donkeys because we’re past the point of waiting our turn. We no longer have the option.

We are growing up faster and stronger than expected. We have seen the world and, with young yet tired eyes, risen to the challenge before our time.

I believe in the resilience of the next generation. Because if I don’t let myself believe that the next of us can and will rise up to save our world, then I can hold no hope for the future.
Audio download:
This I Believe.m4a