I Believe in Acceptance

Hunter - Lakewood, Colorado
Entered on March 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude
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I believe in acceptance

I walked into my weekly meeting of Amnesty international the other day. I am a head of the club, so I always get there 5 minutes early. After I was done setting up my usual procedural stuff, I looked out over the lunchroom, our typical meeting place, and then I looked down at the article in my hand. It was about the Genocide in Sudan. Just like every other time I read one of these articles, I got a knot in my stomach. I watched as people walked in, and I couldn’t help but wonder if any of us really understood how privileged we are. We don’t have to worry about being having enough food to eat, having a home, or protecting ourselves from angry men with AK-47’s.

Americans are not special. I did nothing to deserve the security that my country gives me. My government protects my fundamental rights simply because I was born here. I am no better than a man living halfway across the world, and yet I am granted so many more privileges than a man living in Africa.

These privileges don’t make my life any more valuable than anyone else in this world. Albert Einstein is no more valuable than anyone else. His accomplishments were certainly great, but if I believe that life is universally valuable, I should be just as upset about every killing in Africa as I was when Columbine high school was shot up.

I watched as my state and my country broke down over the Columbine massacre. It was a terrible tragedy that saddened me deeply. I was shocked that something so tragic could happen in a country that I believed was separate from that kind of violence. I was in horror and mourning. Yet, these massacres are commonplace in Sudan.

So why am I not furious? Why am I not going crazy over the world’s mess? Because that is how life is. This is how the world has always been, and it is how the world will probably continue to be. Just like the last week, I would have to accept the fact that people around the world are dying, because that is the only way to get through the day.

So, I sat down. I placed the article back on the table and started to write. If only for an instant, I understood just how fortunate I am. I then continued yet another day of my privileged life.