A New Year

By Elizabeth Arroyo, TIWP Student

This New Year, I’d like to put an end to the tradition of hurt, scared people pushing down other hurt, scared people to make themselves feel less hurt and scared. This just seems like the only problem that’s actually solvable in the next fifty years. You start at high school, where hurt kids who hate themselves bully other kids, and then those new victims inflict their most power-hungry fantasies on other random kids to feel “strong” and make even more victims. Then adults do it, too. Most of the people who committed acts of violence weren’t bad, they just felt overlooked and afraid of the future, so they lashed out at who they thought was “the enemy,” when their enemies were probably afraid of the exact same things. The fears of the white worker who thinks the world has stopped caring about him aren’t so different from the fears of a woman who thinks the world never cared about her in the first place.

I wish I could end human trafficking, or lower the insane rates of sexual violence against women, or give the people in Guam the right to vote. For now, I guess I’ll just settle for trying to be strong. Even the kids movie Barnyard got it right:  “A strong man stands up for himself. A stronger man stands up for others.” I’ll try to lift people up instead of knocking them down—and if I can’t do that, I can at least give support to others so they’ll feel like they can.

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