A young woman with a sign saying, “I plan to run for office, not from a gun.”
Thee little kids yelling at the top of their lungs, leading the chants of hundreds around them.
Walking through the streets of Downtown L.A. with thousands and thousands of people.
In this political and social climate, it is so easy to feel discouraged and tired. To feel like nothing will ever change. To feel like you’re shouting into the ears of our politicians, but those ears are only voids.
But, when I saw and experienced these things at the March for Our Lives rally in Los Angeles, I felt emboldened, and empowered, and hopeful.
It is so easy to focus on the bad. To only see the negative. To feel as though you are swimming through a storm of tragedies, inequalities, and prejudice- and the storm will never settle.
Recent events, however, including this march have made me realize we must focus on the good. We must focus on those that are leading the path to a better future. We must focus on the good and righteous of this world. Because that good is what will abolish the bad.
We must also see the bad that goes on in the world. We must do that so a solution can be found.
That is what this march taught me.
In the lead up to this event, family members initially didn’t want me or my best friend, Leila, going. Others when told were incredulous. They all thought it was dangerous.
However, another thing that must be learned from this march and all of the similar peaceful demonstrations that have been happening in recent months is that the youths have a voice, a voice so powerful and strong it gives me hope for a better future.
Young people from Emma Gonzalez to Yara Shahidi to Malala Yousfzai have taught me no matter your age, you can stand up for what you believe in, and you can influence change.
So, parents, and family members, and whoever else, do not stifle our voices, even in the aim of it protecting us. Rather, join us, protect us, fight for us and with us.
Because even though there are the happy moments of children chanting through the streets, and thousands gathering to fight, there are also the tragedies.
Seventeen people killed in six minutes and 20 seconds, all because they went to school. A place you should be safe.
Twenty six people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, many were small children.
Thirteen people killed and 20 wounded during the Columbine Shooting in 1999. That’s the time when the government should have done everything in its power to make sure nothing like this happens again.
So, so many people have died due to gun violence. So many have been young, younger than me. Could I imagine my life having ended at 13 or 14? Never experiencing the things I have in the past three or four years? Can you?
We must fight and raise our voices. Adults must nurture these voices of the new generation, and encourage them to yell and fight as loudly and as strongly as they can. Because change won’t be easy, but it must happen.
And as for the people who are supposed to be governing this country and improving it: This generation is resilient, by 2020 many of us will be be eligible to vote, and believe me, we will.
This generation is tired. Tired of the ways of this country. Tired of kids being shot at school, of unarmed black people being shot simply because of their skin color, women being considered less, minorities being targeted and held down. And so much more.
So, prepare yourselves, because as Parkland Shooting survivor Cameron Kasky said, “Welcome to the revolution.”Share