Sunday, June 3, 2007

But, what if they laugh at me?

My last post about the environment acquired a comment containing a point which I failed to consider. It also contained ideas for the subject of this post.

What I failed to consider in my post an the environment was that not everyone will recognize it or ratify it as a problem. If you don't or won't recognize something as a problem, then it's rather impossible to do anything about it. Three stages must be completed for something to be done about a problem.* First, the world must accept that there is a problem. Then, a plan of action must be formulated. Finally, someone or some group of people with the means to do so must have the courage to take action.

The third stage is indeed the hardest of all to complete. In today's culture, especially among teenagers, people fear taking action on their own beliefs and opinions for fear of being prosecuted for them. This was well illustrated by a Taylor Mali, a champion poet and teacher from Providence, Rhode Island. He recited a poem about how society has lost it's conviction for it's own beliefs, it being replaced by statements such as, "Not that I'm interested or anything, but I just sort of happened to kind of overhear this from something I wasn't really listening to..." which is followed by the statement of fact. We want to make sure that our opinion won't be frowned upon by others before we say it.

I wonder where this came from, this fear? Maybe it was World War II, when the Jews were slaughtered for their beliefs. Maybe it was when Christ was mocked on the cross for claiming to be the King of Kings and Son of GOD. Maybe it's the grating criticism slammed on those with opinions by the media.

Wherever this came from, it is affecting our society in a negative way. I don't know what can be done to change it.

I have, however, passed stage one.

I challenge you to complete stage two.

World Peace


~Julia said...

So you actually do read the comments...yay! I know there is a problem, and that we are the cause, thus we must fix it.

Step 2: Plan of action. ummm...okay. Walk, ride a bike, use the bus (which I will be doing all next year) and limit car travel. Recycle, eat less meat, and eat food produced locally. Go to the Change Conference. See, the problem is that as a teenager in my parent's home is that generally I don't have that much control over these things, like eating less meat, food produced locally, and recycling. If its put on my plate it will be eaten, and if I put it in the recycle bin I assume it will be recycled...but it isn't always. Perhaps addressing the issue now will cause me (and others our age) to alter their lifestyles so that when we 'move out' we take the initiative.

This need to not be frowned upon I think is just part of human nature. Acceptance has mean that you have a family, friends, and (in the caveman days) food as well as shelter. We needed to be accepted in order to survive, and we still do today, at least to some extent. As to what can be done to change it... I don't know. You can't really change something so engrained into us. The topic really just needs to be understandable by the average person and the goals attainable for everyone. Then people will find it simple to accept these ideas, and find it easier to act. In part, it has to be acceptable to speak your mind.

Random question - Are you in debating? Does your school have a debating club/team? Basically everything you talk about is related to something I've debated, and if you want to engage in (generally) intelligent banter, Debating is the way.

J-Ray said...

Not until next year (debating), and even then I can only hope. However, there are some students at my school who are interested in forming a debate club, and then taking our skills to the CYF, or Commonwealth Youth Forum.

Thanks for your input.

World Peace