22 April 2011

it takes all kinds

First of all, it's Friday! But not just Average Friday or Mediocre Friday..it's Good Friday! The best Friday of them all because that means it's Easter Eve Eve which is close to one of my favorite holidays..and it's not Christmas!
Today is also Earth Day, which is very important, evidently. And I'm proud to say that the US was the first country to institute a day dedicated to environmental awareness and preservation.
However, I am not proud to say that this nation has a history of longer than 300 years of slavery. And that just 50 years ago, in the lifetimes of some of the people I know, people killed and tortured other people because of their race. And the thing is, those who thought they were superior were actually the most ignorant of all. Who had told them they had the right to rule over all other people? Who even said they have the right to rule over animals and plants?
Today in history we watched a documentary called A Time for Justice. It was short, but it was poignant, direct, and bitterly honest. And graphic. It chronicled the violence in the Civil Rights Movement. Which seems ironic because we are told that African Americans led peaceful protests. And they did; they were not the ones causing violence.
It hurt me to see our country fall to this. It damages our pride to know that our country was once this cruel and caustic for no actual reason. The persecution of a race because they are different is never a reason to persecute. Is this really the United States? Our top-notch country could never do something like this. We are simply too good for that. But the truth is, we did do awful things. And we can't forget them.
I borrowed the title of my blog from Life is Good. And tonight, my school's Multicultural Club sponsored the yearly spring gala. They get local restaurants and students' families to bring all sorts of ethnic foods from all over the world - Europe, Asia, America, Latin America - and they have performers - professionals, students, and even teachers. This year, a kid in my grade played the bagpipes - wearing a kilt. One of my best friends played 3 songs on the piano. A girl from my math class sang a song in Spanish since she is from Latin America. A girl I knew in middle school did an Irish step dance. Two guys did a salsa dance too.
I have gone to the past ones because it is not only fun but it makes me very happy to know that everyone can get along and appreciate each other. I see all of my teachers there, my friends, and their families. And my friends are not just people who look like me - in fact, none of my friends look like me. I have friends from India, Canada, Colombia, Peru, Belgium, Africa, and I have met people from every corner of the world. Well, except Antarctica. Yet.
I wrote an essay in French one time - I never got it back though - and our prompt was about the worst thing plaguing the world today. Most people wrote about AIDS, drugs, violence, war, poverty, hunger (which as you know I support), and malaria. I wrote about ignorance, racism, and misunderstanding and that literally, if we could all feel empathy for each other, we could eventually create a society that is respectful of each other. Mutual understanding and acceptance is the key to happiness. This sounds a little idealistic rather than realistic. But why does realistic have to be something negative? Idealism is just an abstract, optimistic view of the realism of tomorrow.

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