The “I’s” of the world

Matthew - Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Entered on April 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

The “I’s” of the world

I believe the world would be a better place if people were more open to new ideas, cultures, and religions. If people were nonjudgmental of races and cultures, I believe some semblance of peace on Earth could be achieved.

As a child, I had my eyes wide open when viewing the world, I thought of it as a place where people accepted and celebrated their differences. I thought this because maybe I was just naïve or I didn’t see any wrong in others. I vividly remember the day that made my eyes a bit droopy. It was September 11, 2001, this was the day my eyes were opened to something else, the destruction of passing judgment on other religions and cultures could cause. As I watched people from other nations celebrating on the streets during our crises, I was astonished. These people knew nothing about the people who were killed or affected by the terrorist attack. They were putting every American into a single identity who obviously they did not care for. I vowed I would never view a group of people in this way.

This lesson obviously was not learned by other fundamentalists on this tragic day. As our country declared war on the country of Iraq I was shocked. I always thought of America as a place of justice, a place where any person could be accepted, and a country that no longer viewed individuals with racism or prejudice. Our country passed the same racism and prejudiced as the terrorists on September 11th, when it started a war with a place where the people, culture, politics, and religion are different from its own. In this war, our country has tried to make the country of Iraq more like our own, and as a result, the war has been unsuccessful and tragic. As I watch the news every night I think about the downward spiral the world has begun to go in, and it seems to all go back to people’s inability to look openly at new ideas and people.

Just recently was the five year anniversary (if you can call it that) of the Iraq War. And in those five years over 4,000 American troops have lost their lives to this cause. Millions of Iraqis have been misplaced from their homes and their lives disrupted. Some children can no longer attend schools while families must flee for their safety and hope. Iraqis lives may have been horrible under rule of Saddam. They didn’t have as many freedoms, people were ruthlessly murdered, but there was some civil disobedience where people could function with their lives. Still five years in this mess the tunnel remains dark as no light has begin to shed in on when this could all be over or what needs to be done to consider removing our troops.

I’ve learned that judgment of strangers is inappropriate. The only sound judgment I can make in regards to other people is by meeting individuals and understanding who they are, where they came from, obstacles they have overcome, and what they believe in. Since I am viewing individuals in this manner I expect the same from others around the world when they are judging Americans.