Sidenote: The characters and plot of this story are fictional
I walked along the street downtown, freely looking at the nice mix of small parks, colorful restaurants, and tall buildings that surrounded me. As I continue to walk towards Battery Park in lower Manhattan, I heard loud noises, chanting, and a person speaking inaudibly over a microphone.
I stopped in my tracks, and followed the noise.
Kids, I saw kids younger than me holding colorful signs, pink, yellow, green, that chanted slogans like "We demand change", and "Let's save the earth".
But what were all of them doing out here? It was a Friday midday? Don't they all have school? My excuse was that I didn't have class today.
Suddenly I felt a push, and stumbled slightly forward.
"Sorry sir! I didn't see you!" the little girl said.
"It's ok, it's ok. What are you doing here on a Friday?" I asked her.
"I'm here protesting for the governments around the world to work harder with Climate Change" she replied.
"What?" I said. A girl, no older than 8 years old told me this.
"Yeah, it's time that our global leaders make a change! I mean there's only so much that we people can do!" she explained.
"What are you doing to save the environment?"
"I recycle, take short baths, walk to school, save electricity by turning off lights when I'm not using them, and am organizing a weekly recycling drive at my school. What are you doing?" she asked me.
"I recycle, and take short showers?" I replied with a little disappointment.
"Do you walk to school and work?"
"I walk to school, but take the subway to work"
"At least you're trying. The big governments and corporations here are not" she replied.
"What?" I said, and started laughing.
"I'm serious! I've been watching the news! Our government has done nothing to help Climate Change. There are even people in our government who don't believe in it! I'm here to tell our government that it needs to do more. Also, sorry sir, I have to go catch up to my friends, bye!" she said, and ran ahead, disappearing into the crowd of children.
I stepped out into a side street that was not crowded.
All I could think about was how this all felt familiar.
Young people always leading the way, with marches, protests, and sit-ins.
March For Our Lives, Parkland, the "Die-Ins", and more.
Yet the result always remained the same, nothing.
I looked up at the blue sky, then at the young crowd again.
I didn't know too much about Climate Change, but what I knew was that the world, us and our world leaders, weren't doing enough.
I then walked confidently into the crowd, took a poster board, and marched down to Battery Park; I felt alone no longer.
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