This I Believe is Knowledge

Alyssa - Solon, OH 44139, Ohio
Entered on December 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe Is Knowledge

The morning of Friday, October 3rd, was like any other fall day. Bright skies, chlorophyll soaked leaves, not a cloud in sight. The day after Yom Kippur. The first act of ignorance. It started with a remark, so small that it almost went unnoticed. Almost. “Why did we have to come back to school today? We had Thursday off, why couldn’t we just skip Friday? Or why couldn’t they just move the holiday to Friday. This is so stupid,” Jodie muttered under her breath.

Although I am not Jewish, I felt something burning within me because of this small act of ignorance. Just because you don’t celebrate a holiday, does not mean that it is not important. Those four sentences could have sparked World War 3 if I had challenged her. But I let it go and tried to wash away my anger like the waves gently washing sand back into the ocean. I assumed that her remark was a one-time thing. But that was the problem. I assumed.

The second act happened on Tuesday, November 11th. Veterans’ Day. A day so jam packed with honor and remembrance, stuffed with pride and joy, overflowing with sorrow and hope. A day so special to Americans. A day that no one would dare to be disrespectful on. Except for one person. Her voice was filled with naivety and arrogance as she whined, “Why do we have to sit here? Why can’t we just leave already? This is so stupid.”

The second act threw me into a cul-de-sac of rage that had me going around and around, and as hard as I tried, I could not get her blasphemous words out of my head. There were many reasons why I felt so angry, but the main reason was that people have died for our country. It’s one thing to take that for granted, but it’s another to disregard it. Jodie acted as if there was nothing to remember that morning. As if no one had given their life for this country. For our way of life. For our safety.

She acted as if that short period of quiet for them was like standing in line at a store on Black Friday. A complete waste of her time. The least we could all do was to stay quiet for a couple of minutes, even seconds, to honor and remember what the veterans have done for this country. Not roll our eyes or make rude comments. But just take a small time out from our busy days. Even something so small can amount to so much.

I believe in knowledge and I came to this belief because of Jodie and the people like her. I had always heard people say “ignorance is bliss,” and I thought that it was just another trite expression. Until now. Now I know that knowledge is the only remedy for naivety and ignorance. Now I believe in knowledge.