If you’re anything like me and keep up with world news, you may feel a little devastated right now. Throughout the Kavanaugh case, threats against transgender rights, and the horrible attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, it is normal to feel like the world is against you. One of the hardest things in society is seeing humans be treated in a way they don’t deserve, for their rights to be hindered and their lives to be taken…. It is easy to feel helpless in this scenario.
Living in Boston is like being at the center of a never-ending political rally. From smaller protests like the conservative groups who chant and pray outside of my dorms neighboring Planned Parenthood, to the larger rallies like the Transgender Lives Matter protest at the Boston Common. Some of them I agree with and some of them I don’t, but overall, I love to see people protesting. I love to see people be passionate about their views and fight for what they believe is right, but nonetheless, right now, I feel defeated.
I have continuously asked myself, “what can I do to help?” How can I change these terrible things from happening? And I am going to be honest; it is easy to convince myself that I am useless. Except, I must remember I am not. I have just turned 18, and I can vote. I have a platform such as Her Campus to use my voice. I have the privilege to have these rights and I intend on using them to express my views, and you should too. It’s our right as people to be educated and then educate others. This is how we can create change! Read articles, have opinions, and most importantly, vote for people who you believe will better our country.
Photo Credit: DoingBoing
We must remember not to be desensitized to these horrors. It is both good and healthy to feel something, to feel sad and to get angry. As a society, we need to learn to channel these emotions in a way that will promote a better future. The atrocities that are happening in our world and our society are horrifying, and we should acknowledge that. The stigma around shootings, rape, and LGBT abuse has lessened. People aren’t talking about it anymore. We are getting “used” to these tragedies happening. Even in the case of Brett Kavanaugh, the media swarmed around the topic for weeks; yet, when Kavanaugh got elected the buzz died down, it no longer was a fight that the media was willing to have, but it’s a fight we should be willing to continue. We cannot grow accustomed to tragedies such as mass shootings, we cannot adapt to our rights being threatened, we must stay informed and we must care.
The problem with hiding, with being ignorant, is that nothing will change. Sometimes I do avoid the news. Sometimes it is hard to bear the horror stories they tell me, but I do it anyway. I know I have to. Hearing the tragedy of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting was horrifying to me. Growing up just 20 minutes from Newtown, I remember the Sandy Hook shooting clear as day. I grew up going to school there and unfortunately knew many families who were affected. It makes me sick to my stomach to think those children never got the justice deserved, and it makes me angry to think of the many shootings that came afterward. It has been just a few days after the Pittsburgh shooting and the talk of change has become a whisper.
Except for this time, we will talk about this shooting. We, as people, will raise our voice at anti-Semitism. We will not tolerate gun violence. We will speak up against racism and we will fight for human rights. So in times like these, where the world seems against you, against humans, remember that you can be a part of the change. Remember that you can speak up and your voice deserves to be heard.