Hope Before The End Of The World

Hope Before The End Of The World

Sometimes I think on how the world is going to end, but we can still stop it.

Everybody remembers what they thought on December 20, 2012. If the Mayan Calendar prediction came true, then the world would end. Whether it was a bang, or a whimper, or a polar shift of the continents, the world we knew would dissipate into ash and fire, drowned in waters and split apart. I also thought about my life up to that point—how it wasn’t finished yet, how I could’ve done more, and how I would like to see myself should everyone I know die at this point.

Fortunately, December 21, 2012 came and went with nothing of incidence happening; for example, I went to school, the last day before winter break, went to bed, and woke up to a new day. I had more time to do all the things I wanted to do and had to in my life.

Now, five years later, I had the impression that the world may come to a blistering end, a feeling which festered in me since last year’s election. The events which transpired in the following days made it seem more apocalyptic, to the point where I think about survival sometimes, and even write poetry like this one here.

Curse the flames which arise to the sun,

Where the embers have clouded

And smoke has won.

Curse the trail of ashes among its wake,

A prelude to a naïve strike,

To which a wretched king makes.

Traveling through former wetlands,

Now dried to bare branches,

He raises his hand, to bring out the wolves.

Snarling, hissing, teething,

They rush forward, only to lose their bite,

All because the conditions are naught.

The arms of the devil only hold malevolence

And hypocrisy, weaving blankets of gold

Only for those who pay it all.

They embrace until they strangle,

Giving more until it’s impossible to not take

From its bosom, ever so cold.

As the world freezes and

The utter bitterness of the fallout sets in,

Nobody wakes up from the surrealist dream,

Lest it collapses on them.

Waking up, with ashes on their lips,

They pray for nothing, as even the gods died

With a breath of smoke, nothingness included.

However, with a lot of people sending money to a variety of causes, protesting against policies through contacting their officials or going up to their offices, and using that to create art to address such issues, I hold hope we may abort an apocalypse of multiple proportions, whether it be the accelerating effects of climate change or nuclear warfare.

If I learned anything in my twenty years of the world, it is that life doesn’t play out like in the movies. We are protagonists to our own stories alone, but minor characters if not antagonists to everyone else’s. In the context of fighting off catalysts of any local, if not international, cataclysm, it’s not something expansive, with one great final battle against all the forces of nature—if not each other. It’s all the little details and actions which make people more aware about the horrors a changed planet would be, as a result of negligence of science or diplomatic means.

John F. Kennedy once said in a UN General Assembly speech, “We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world--or to make it the last.” These words still ring true today, if not more so, in terms of what direction we want to take the world.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Will Enough Ever Be Enough?

Yet another school shooting in America, still nothing done. We are dying.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018: We are all heartbroken to hear about another school shooting.

At Great Mills High School in Maryland, a 17-year-old male is pronounced dead at the scene after shooting two other students and a school resource officer. Just before their first period started, at 7:55 am, Austin Rollins shot one male and one female student with a handgun before being shot by the school's resource officer. While the 16-year-old female is in critical condition, the 14-year-old male is currently stable. This is the 17th school shooting in 2018. That's 17 days out of the past 80 that parents have gone to bed with their children in body bags as a result of gun violence.

I don't care what political party you associate with, gun violence is completely out of control. I am a registered Republican and completely agree with stricter gun laws. Learn the difference between a gun ban and sales control. Concerned citizens are not trying to take away your guns, but are trying to take away the rights from those that are risks.

Could you imagine legally having to send your child to school but never coming back? You've packed their lunch, maybe with a special note, and gave them a kiss before they left for school, not knowing that it was their last. No matter where we go, we are not safe. We can't go to malls, movie theaters, schools, or even churches without having to worry if it will be our last trip. Our homes, our places of worship, and our schools are supposed to be the places where we feel safest and, instead, our children are filled with fear. Instead of focusing on the political views that divide these groups, why don't we focus on what unites us? Why don't we focus on protecting our kin?

Everyone has had an opinion on the walkouts that have been happening around the country. Everyone has had an opinion on the 17 minutes of silence for the 17 children lost in the Florida shooting. I've seen people disgusted that Nickelodeon had 17 minutes of broadcast cut because it "interrupted the only program [I] let [my] children watch".

If your child was shot at school, you wouldn't have to worry about what programs they watch, but rather where to bury them and how to afford their memorial.

I've seen people saying that it's no wonder that Millenials are dumb. They "find any excuse to cut class". Have you thought about the fact that they are genuinely worried about going to school?

Personally, I've experienced both a shooting scare at my high school and a bomb threat at my college. I shouldn't have to worry about my life ending. I'm legally forced to go to high school and get an education or I'm putting myself into a lifetime of debt to get a degree.

We are all too young to stress about gun violence. Our school years are supposed to be the times our of lives, but they're being wasted on worrying about dying every day.

Rest in peace to all of those who have lost their lives in shootings, not only this year, but always. Hopes, thoughts, and prayers go out to their loved ones. One day, we will unite and find a solution.

We need to work together and forget the labels of parties and cliques in school and look out for one another instead. There is no kind but mankind.

Cover Image Credit: Boston Herald

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The Republican Versus Democrat Stigma Needs To Slow Down

We Need To Be Individual Again

We as a society have developed an unnecessary need to place people in a specific party based on what could be a single value out of many. This is a letter for those who do not define themselves as one or the other; for those whose values range between conservative and liberal, for those who feel the unfortunate pressure of society to choose one even though your values do not fit just one.

The political parties at one point generally just meant “these are my basic beliefs, so this is the candidate I will vote for because they most closely represent them.” Party affiliation was harmless. Republicans and Democrats could get along fine, differing opinions not getting in the way of relationships and alignment. More importantly, you did not have to be part of a specific political party to be an active member of society. Your opinions and principles were yours.

Over the years following the last two election races, political parties gained a much more significant and defining meaning in our lives as individuals and as members of society. There is a newly developed stigma behind political opinions. You are almost pressured to feel one way or another about every single topic. If a majority of your values are of the conservative agenda, you must be a heart-and-all Republican. In contrast, if you are more liberal-leaning you are docked as a set Democrat. We as citizens are being labeled according to what may be a few hard-values. And dishearteningly enough, can be ridiculed for what we value. Even if you might not value everything the same as your determined party.

There exists those of us that hold values from both parties. It is possible to value women’s rights and also value a traditional marriage. It is possible to be a gun owner and also active in keeping children safe in school. You do not have to just submit to every belief of one party. You can value aspects of different parties and still be a functioning member of the American society. Do not let the looming obligation to declare yourself as strictly one or the other. You do not have to pretend you agree with everything Democratic or everything Republican; you can have your own values. And you should. Our society is messed up in the way that values are pushed on citizens. We are meant to be free individuals with our private values.

It is not fair to those of us who value different things. Not every American is a to-the-bone Democrat or Republican. It is possible to hold liberal beliefs as a conservative person. And Vice-Versa. We need to stop labeling one another as one or the other, conservative or liberal. We need to stop silencing each other because we have differing views. We need to accept not everyone is perfectly one party, and diversity exists. Open mindedness exists in Americans, despite the seemingly growing generalizations. We need to be able to agree to disagree on certain topics.
Cover Image Credit: LexiHanna

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