This I Believe

Aaron - Frankfort, Kentucky
Entered on May 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I have a voice

“Hey that’s wrong, why should I put up with something I disagree with?” In reality, I don’t have to put up with it. No one has the right to tell me what is appropriate, in dress, music, belief, or action. No one should ever have the power to tell me I must do something or act some way I feel is wrong.

In the United States all citizens have the right to protest; this right was included in the constitution because our founding fathers believed we should be able to change things that we feel are fundamentally wrong. This right is the most powerful weapon anyone could ask for, giving citizens the power to fight injustices within their government. This right also gives me the power to rebut my peers’ ideas of what is right and wrong. It is not only the government that can suppress the views of individuals, but other individuals who do not have respect for others’ views. Whenever I think something is wrong, I do not sit back and let it happen if I know I can do something to fix it.

Starting the fight against injustice can be as simple as letting a friend know that something wrong is happening. The first step is building resistance; just spreading the word that something is happening. Now it is not always necessary to have a massive army of support at my back, in some cases it is more effective to use my own words and thoughts. When the injustice is on the smaller, though no less important, personal scale between myself and another person, the conflict requires less support from others.

The next step is the actual protest: you can write letters, have a sit in, write petitions, or boycott the cause of the problem in a governmental issue. In smaller personal or group disputes, a debate or a simple fist-fight may be more practical. The possibilities of how to protest are endless, so do whatever it takes be heard. Violence makes things messy, so it should be avoided when possible. It takes attention away from the conflict and makes the means instead of the end the issue. In some cases, however, violence can be effective. The will to literally fight shows dedication toward a goal and the extent to which one will go for fair treatment.

So go fight, do something, the only wrong way to protest is to not do so at all. Complacency is what lets people build power around themselves and take it away from the whole. Everyone deserves to be fair treatment. While some people believe they are above the rest of us because they have more money, or better looking hair, it does not give them the right to force their opinion upon others. It is these people that need to be stopped, the Hallway Hitlers. Yes, it is of the utmost importance to take action against the larger problems presented by our state, however there is a lengthy process involved in getting anything governmental done, and while we all should feel compelled to work toward the betterment of our country, we can help make our country a better place one person at a time by taking action against those who feel they have status over the rest of us.