by Ashley, Grade 8
January 4, 2013
If flowers were only one color, would you grow them? If markers were only one color, would you color with them? If the world was only one color, would you live in it? There would be no more pinks and purples for little girls to make their dream princess dresses. There would be no more reds for guys to give their loved ones hearts on Valentine’s Day. Do you want to live in a world where there is no diversity? Do you want to live in a world where everything stays the same and there is no change? Do you want to live in a world where only one color covers the streets and the halls that you walk through and there is not a dot of another color anywhere? I don’t; I want to live in a world where everybody is equal and everybody works as one no matter what the color of their skin is.
Dr. King’s widely known speech “I Have a Dream” powerfully expressed the fact that it doesn’t matter what color you are; it just matters what is deep down in your heart. At the time African-Americans were being humiliated, hurt, and even killed for being brown skinned while others roamed the streets thinking they were better than everybody because they were white. Nobody wants to be criticized for being a certain color because colors are what make the world so bright. Everyone, white and black, went to witness the reading of Dr. King’s speech at the Lincoln Monument on August 28, 1963. They gathered together to realize that everyone is equal and everyone should be treated with respect. Shouldn’t we be able to do the same today?
The children are our future, and we need to make the world better for them. Dr. King states, “Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” This quote is very important to me because without the generation that is alive today working together to put a stop to racism, there will not be a happy world left for future generations to come. Without love, hope, and happiness, there won’t be a better world for people to live in. We need to change our ways and make sure that whoever comes after will know that is okay to be the color you are and it is ok to be you.
One way we need to change our ways is by decreasing the violence in our society. Violence is not the answer for peace. Dr. King states, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” This means that we as African-Americans or any other race that was or still is being discriminated against should not hate or act bitter toward the people who are doing this to us. We should not react with violence but with intelligence and heart felt words that will let people understand the wrongs of racism and discrimination. Remember that two wrongs don’t make a right and with both sides reacting with violence, this world will never become a better place.
African-Americans are still discriminated against and hurt for being a different color. Dr. King says, “But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.” This statement means that even though our African-American ancestors have been through trials and tribulations to get us where we are today, there is still no freedom. We are still being hurt and criticized for being brown skinned when all African-Americans want is to be loved and appreciated for who we are and how God made us. He made all of us like this for a reason and that should be respected by any and everyone.
The life of everyone who lives in this world today is here for a reason. We all have a purpose in this world. We should all have the freedom to become lawyers, doctors, politicians, and teachers. We will be able to walk on streets and through hallways and not be afraid to say that we are proud of who we are. The colors of black and white will one day come together and form a beautiful creation just like the colorful rainbow forms a beautiful creation within the blue sky. Believe me that day will come. Dr. King’s dream will come true. It might not be today; it might not be tomorrow. But, someday we will be “free at last!”
There is much work to do to improve schools across the globe, says Geetha Kanniah, 17, a Correspondent from Malaysia, who describes attributes that she would like to see as common standards for all schools.
My dream school is first of all a school where life begins with the teacher who is full of passion and liveliness. The teacher not only grabs the students’ attention but keeps them on the edge of their seats wanting to know more. His or her enthusiasm ignites that spark of excitement that opens receiving minds to wider fields of knowledge. Such a teacher asks more questions from the students, explores with the students and is a friend to them.
My dream school is a school where teaching methods vary from the use of contemporary technologies like robotics to out-of-class experiences. Those experiences are important because they do not confine students to the four walls of a classroom.
There would also be integrated learning of subjects both in the Arts and Sciences so that the education received would not be about confining but expanding. Given choices, students get a sense of freedom, can express opinions and will be more sociable. All these make them better persons in society, possessing a wide range of skills.
My dream school would be complete with amazing facilities like classroom labs, pools, and gyms. A library and counselling centre would be at hand to enable students to be more familiar with their subjects and themselves. Studying in a hands-on environment allows students to use their five senses to gain knowledge. It moulds them to be excited about their abilities and excel with them. Also at hand would be a canteen stocked with healthy food. A balanced diet is vital for students who spend many hours in school. Clean, non-processed, nutritious food is a key feeding requirement for students.
Foreign exchange programs in my dream school would create understanding and respect. They would satisfy curiosities and instil intercultural awareness. They would be open to all students, rich and poor. Including students from all parts of the world would make this education truly global.
Sports would be given equal emphasis with academics. After all, education is not only for the mind but for the whole self – mentally and physically. Sporting activities instil a healthy lifestyle by encouraging students to be physically fit, emotionally strong, and have good self-esteem. They build team spirit, and at the same time encourage individuality. Through sports, people from different backgrounds meet and learn to respect each other.
Academic subjects must be relevant. The syllabus would include significant impact fields like environmental studies, political views, and economic struggles. It would grab the attention of students and lead them to action.
Improving schools would require international collaboration. Such cooperation would encourage dialogue and lead to common standards. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the great engine of development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation”.
Education can bring a change in someone’s future as Mr. Mandela observed. The struggle to keep fulfilling that observation must be made by us. Students need to be inspired, amazed and be aware of endless opportunities.
While school is the best thing that ever happened to mankind, there is still yet more to do.
Photo credit: scottwills via photopincc
I am a Malaysian, who looks for adventure and thrill, and is passionate about sports. I enjoy tennis, swimming, badminton and most recently, longboarding. I also spend a lot of my time with my camera, capturing as much as I can, while documenting them on my blog: journeywithacamera.wordpress.com.
My travels give me the exposure to learn about the world. And to know and do more, I volunteer with different organizations, particularly in the marine field. My ambition is to be an explorer and to reach out to people.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/
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