New Challenges Need New Speeches

Green-ify Today!

We ALL know about global warming. We have heard speeches, seen plays, read articles. Most of us have had countless inspiring experiences that have to do with this, yet why have we seen so many natural extremes and disasters in the past few years? Is climate change and global warming related to this?

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It scares me to see pictures of the seriously dire situations that Earth is experiencing. When you look up “global warming effects” on Google, there is a particular picture that appears which really frightens me. Even if it’s Photoshopped, which it might be, it spurs my thinking about what the world might come to. Will this become our reality?


If everyone was required to do at least one thing to help the world every day, then BAM! We would be on track to a much brighter future.

I’m guessing you’ve heard speeches or events that order us to save the world, to do our part,  to do it for the kids, (who are our future), and leave feeling rather moved, but not moved enough to try to change anything. I feel this often. Perhaps people believe one person can’t do much about it. There are 7 billion people on the planet, what’s one little 11-year-old in, I don’t know, Djibouti going to do? It’s not her fault the world’s falling apart. So why should she care? Well, she should. We all should. Guys, the earth is where we LIVE!

We water the flowers because you see them wilting. We have a snack when we are hungry. With these examples, there is a problem, fix it, and experience the change immediately. Sometimes there’s a cause you care for and want to support, and unfortunately the results don’t always appear before your very eyes. Changing the world is not easy, but sometimes the things that are most worth it aren’t as simple as we wish.

Even our smallest actions make a huge impact on the environment. Making some easy changes that we can commit to in our daily lives can be all the earth needs. A few simple things you can do to help are:

Empty the landfills! Not all your waste should go into the trash bin. Composting and recycling is on one of the most simple yet effective ways you can make a dent in global warming and climate change. Food scraps and yard waste are some things that would go in the compost. Empty metal cans and paper scraps are examples of recyclable items.       

Conserve energy! Energy is a very important resource, and trying not to use it up is a great help to the environment. Turn off things that use up energy when you aren’t using them, like lights and faucets.

Respect & preserve water! You might not be thinking this while taking a shower, but water is a majestic thing that deserves our respect. A way you can preserve it is by taking showers instead of baths. (Showers consume less water.) I’m guessing you already take showers, so since I assume you are familiar with the concept of them what you can do is take shorter ones. In general, just cutting back on and being aware of your water usage is an important and relatively effortless thing you can do for the conservation of our earth.

Spread the word! Raising awareness is probably THE easiest effort you can make towards helping the world. Thinking before you act is a good mantra in general, but especially when it comes to global warming. The earth is one hundred percent breathtaking, and I know for a fact that I want it to stay that way. I need it to stay that way.

                  –Lucia '17

I Dream of Dreams

I have a dream, but so do you. The girl next door, the boy that disappeared, the man who bought the house in your neighborhood, everyone, we all have dreams. It’s what makes us human. We dream of places we want to go, people we long to see, and things we wish to do, but what must we do to achieve these dreams? What do you think? What does it take?

This image is a play on popular quotes and seems far too real. 

This image is a play on popular quotes and seems far too real. 

If you said hard work you’re only half right. Working hard is important but is it essential to achieving your dream? In my mere fourteen years I have seen people that do what they love their entire life and end up out of a job and broke. All they did was do all they could, but it isn't enough anymore. It isn’t enough to work yourself to death. You need something more to achieve what you dream. There seems to be something above hard work. It stands proudly at the top of the must have list for success and, well… everything else. Something that makes the world go round. I’ll give you a hint its not gravity. Sorry, better luck next time. 

I am talking about money. Money can start wars, kill presidents, send people through college, and clothe a child. It is a gift and a curse. Those with it can do almost anything. They can obtain most goals with relative ease. Because haven’t they earned it? What about the mother that stays up all night studying for her college finals. Hasn’t she earned something too? Well I know that girl and all life gives her is scrapes and bruises. Money doesn’t solve anything, but it sure makes it easier. Those without struggle to survive - their dreams and goals lost in a pile of bills and discarded ideas. Lost but never quite forgotten, always at the edge of their mind. Nothing more than a tidbit of nostalgia to look back upon and score for pure foolishness of the very notion. The very Idea that they deserve something like hope seems childish. But how can dreamin be foolish or childish. What happened to America: The Land of Dreams.  I have seen dreams crushed under the toes of wealth. I have picked up the shattered bones and duct-taped them back together. Crooked? Yes, but functional enough to help them keep aiming high because everyone needs dreams. Everyone deserves to have a dream.  But let’s rewind to the beginning, seems like forever ago don’t it. I never got to tell you my dream. I have a dream that one day every one could have theirs. So... what’s your dream?

-Adeline  '15

A New Definition

Despite feminism being around for many years, and feminists having made a huge amount of progress, gender equality is still a pressing issue. One cause of gender equality taking so long to achieve is people not fully understanding what 'feminism' means. Feminism, by definition, means, "The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men," according to The Oxford Dictionary. Contrary to common assumptions, it is not anti-men or believing that women are better. Men these days don’t seem to understand that the term “feminist” means gender equality. In a rebuttal against this idea of feminism being the equivalent of “man-hating”, users on Twitter have invented this idea of “meninism”.  Meninism t-shirts have been made and #meninist has been used on Twitter millions of times. This is not what we need. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

It’s not just men who don’t understand the word ‘feminist’ or think of it as being negative. In a study that the Huffington Post did, they found that only 20% of Americans identify as feminists, 23% of them being women and 16% of them men. If people continue to carry on with this belief that feminism is negative, is there a point to having feminism being such a pressing topic in our society? Won’t this belief just encourage the opposite of what is intended? To be gender neutral is impossible, so what we need to do is think of each other as equals, rather than needing one gender to be considered better than the other. Today, we need to look at the world as a whole, not divided by gender. We are equal. Feminism does not mean women are better, and feminists are not all over-opinionated, masculine women. It means gender equality and in order to achieve this, we need more than just 20% of Americans to understand this. 

 

- Lauren '15  

Police Power

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In the United States, we have many police officers. Most people trust them. Although I think that we, the citizens, should feel like we can trust them, they don’t always earn our trust.

I am going to tell you a personal example of this.

I was nine years old. It was the end of the summer, and I was coming home from an improv camp. It had been a long day, my nanny and I were almost home, and I was exhausted, so I closed my eyes when we were at the intersection of Boren and Howell. Unfortunately, I did not get long to rest because I immediately heard:

“PUT THE KNIFE DOWN! PUT THE KNIFE DOWN!”

I opened my eyes and looked out the window to see a young policeman yelling at a Native American wood carver. I found it very interesting and peered out my window for a closer look. Just when I started paying attention to the action, the light turned green and we left the scene. 

Being a nine year old, I quickly changed my thought and started talking to my nanny about improv skills I had learned that day until…

“BANG! BANG!”

There were gunshots in the distance behind us. 

I have a dream that one day, our country’s police officers will earn our trust. I know that that is a big, vague dream, but it is not impossible or unreasonable: we, the people of the USA have a right to feel safe, to trust the people who put our lives in their hands. Witnessing the murder of John T. Williams definitely did not make me feel safe with the security the country has.

“His only crime appears to have been walking across the street carrying a carving knife and a chunk of cedar.” 

To clarify, I am not saying that all police officers are prejudiced people, but some are, and we need to take that into account. Martin Luther King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and this is true in my experiences with police brutality and prejudice. Injustice with experiences like the murder of John T. Williams, or Ferguson, or a recent case of police shooting of a teenager in Denver, and many more cases are a threat to everyone’s safety. Police officers should be able to be trusted, and I have a dream that they will be trusted.

Read more about John T. Williams here.

-Mara '16

Families Aren't Made To Live Seperately

Imagine living in harsh conditions. You are given the choice of a better life, but you must split from your family, and not be able to see them for who knows how long? What would you do? This is a decision that homeless families all over Seattle must face. Because while there are plenty of organizations out there fighting homelessness, there are very few organizations that support homeless families.

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Homeless families? What homeless families? You don’t tend to see them as you walk through downtown. You don’t tend to see them anywhere, really. But they are out there. In fact, there are at least one thousand homeless families in the Seattle area. That’s right, one thousand. That’s a lot of families. Your co-workers, your classmates, friends, people that you interact with on a daily basis could be homeless, and you don’t even know it. They are hiding, because they are scared. Most of them don’t want “help”. They want to stay with their family.

So in honor of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., I have a dream that one day we will live in a city where families in homelessness will be able to stay together through thick and thin. That there will be organizations out there supporting homeless families. Because family is an important thing; it is something that should be cherished.

So let’s rise up together to make this change. Let’s accept the fact that there are families in homelessness out there. Let’s help them through their hard times. Let’s make a change. Let’s be the nations next Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

-Greta '16

Quenching The Unquenchable

We live in a privileged society. We have access to every tangible necessity imaginable as well as many auxiliary items. So why do we always want more? One sees this need for quantity in everything we do: in the food portions in restaurants, in the amount of clothes in one’s closets, in the amount of space that one live in. Are we blind to the 3.1 million children who die of hunger each year? To the 578,424 homeless people in the U.S. alone? Or are we just too self-centered to care about about anyone other than ourselves?

Yesterday a girl told me, “You know, I think I need a new rug. The one I have is almost five years old!” She spoke as if five years was eternity, as if she did something remarkable. She didn’t. I have seen that girl’s room: the plush pillows, the flat-screened TV, the walk-in closet holding copious amount of clothing, most of which I have never seen her wear. “Do you know what people would give just to sleep on that rug?” I asked her critically. “That’s why I’m giving it to Goodwill!” “There’s not many starving people in Seattle.” She cheerily solved that problem with: “Well, buying a new one will give them money, because they probably work in those factories they’re made in.” “Do you mean the sweatshops?” She stopped talking. At least she had enough common sense to know that she couldn’t glorify sweatshops.

Today, what we need first is acceptance. Acceptance that our need for quantity is an illusion. Then, we need awareness. Awareness of the landfills we are producing, of the difference between necessary and unnecessary. Together we can change this standard of constant, nagging dissatisfaction with our lives, however small. By realizing ‘new’ isn’t always as important as frugality we can quench this unquenchable thirst. But I can’t change a person’s mind; only that person can do that. People have to find their own motivation behind their actions and only then will they realize that they can change their lives, and that we're can change the world. 

-Eva '15

The Perfection Problem

Society has this image of perfection. It has this image of how people should look and act. We as people know we can’t reach it, yet we keep on trying. 

Girls are supposed to have perfect skin and hair, and have to be skinny. Boys are have to be fit, look good, and, like girls, have perfect skin and hair. In reality, that’s not how we are.Now, not all people are self conscious. And of the ones that are, some are more self conscious than others. Some get bullied for the way they look and simply what they love. Those people beat themselves up because they will never be something that they can’t reach: perfect. We cry and sometimes hurt ourselves, all because others make us feel unneeded or not beautiful. And those that hurt, well, they aren’t perfect either. We are all no more perfect or imperfect than another. 

If only we could realize that and be able to accept it. We are not perfect. Perfect does not exist. There are people out there that want to escape and hurt themselves, that sit in their rooms with tears streaming down their faces for hours, because they can’t reach society’s standards. The false image of perfection has ruined us and we need to solve this. Tell people they are beautiful. Tell people they are worth it. Tell them they’re the best they can be. 

-Rosie '15