What Makes Us Ready?

Olivia - Hampden, Massachusetts
Entered on May 19, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Sometimes struggles are precisely what we need in our lives. I believe, if we, as individuals were to go through life with no obstacles to overcome, we’d be paralyzed. I consider myself to be one of those individuals who are crippled as they travel to the next chapter of their life. My struggles are there on a daily basis, but they are teenage struggles not real struggles. As I walk out of my senior year of high school, I believe that I am not 100% ready for what the world has to throw at me. As I await graduation on June 6th, I ask myself, Should I be ready?

I never considered myself to be someone who is blinded by the real world because they are too busy being caught up in their teenage lifestyle. Well, reality set in my senior years of high school as I sat in my 20th Century Human Genocides Ethnic Conflicts class. Throughout these eighty-five minute classes that took place on Monday-Friday I found myself learning about parts of the world I never even knew existed. They weren’t just parts of the world though, they were past and present genocides that had either taken place or were still taking place. The word genocide is precisely defined as the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. To me, I believe genocide should be defined as something taking place in a country for no reason because there will never be a good enough reason to excuse the deaths of millions of innocent people based off the discrimination of who they are. Genocide is only one example of a struggle that countless innocent people have experienced.

While I go throughout my day trying to figure out what I’m going to wear this weekend when I go out with my friends, they are people struggling. In my genocide class, a woman by the name of Mrs.Gibreel came in to talk about her struggling efforts to assist refugees in Western Mass; These survivors coming all the way from Darfur. Her passion and commitment to these survivors inspired me to understand that I won’t be ready for the world like so many different survivors are. I believe without these beautiful people who experience so many different struggles this world wouldn’t be half the place it is today. I believe in struggle, I believe that without that story of struggle from someone else or that personal experience you are paralyzed.

I believe that struggles are what make people stronger. If you walk throughout life with everything handed to you on a silver platter, you’re never going to be ready for what comes after high school, college or anything. I admire these people who are survivors from genocides; they are my role models because they have made it through the toughest experiences of a lifetime. Without struggles you are restricted from what you are capable of doing for the rest of your life.