One's Reflection | Teen Ink

One's Reflection

May 25, 2010
By AlexHeller DIAMOND, San Mateo, California
AlexHeller DIAMOND, San Mateo, California
60 articles 2 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
Live with intention. walk to the edge. listen hard. practice wellness. play with abandon. laugh. choose with no regret. continue to learn. appreciate your friends. do what you love. live as if this is all there is. -Mary Anne Rabmacher

“The struggle for freedom depends on our ability to accept our interdependence-to see ourselves reflected in every other human being and to respect and honor our differences.” This quote is taken from the book Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattilo Beals. Melba Pattillo Beals was a person who discovered the meaning of this quote at a very young age and realized that there was not anyone who would stand up for her and fight this battle for her. She realized she had to fight for what she thought was right, and not stand back and wait for someone else to. She understood that we are one people and no matter how much a certain group of people are discriminated against, we are all still members of the same community.

She realized that there weren’t people who would just fight for her, she realized that she had to join in the struggle. What I believe Melba is saying is that there is not one human being in this world that has not a single similarity that you can relate to. If we can manage to find these affinities, we might be able to eliminate inequality and prejudice for good. The very fact that Melba persevered at Central high proves that her acceptance of our differences is strong. I to believe that if we are willing to not overlook, but celebrate, or better yet, work with other peoples’ differences, that one day, true equality and equity can be established. In order for all of us to honor and respect each other’s differences, we must accept and see ourselves reflected in other human beings, just as Melba did. One way of incorporating everyone’s differences and ideas is to make sure that the all the voices of the community are heard, and make sure that none are lost, neglected, or forgotten.

Despite the fact that our country was founded on the very grounds that “all men are created equal”, our society started out far from that ideal. The struggle for justice in the United states lies in the very ties that bind this country together. Only together, as one nation will we be able to unfasten these ties and fix the problems that lie within. Our country cannot function without the help of others. We cannot discriminate and create prejudices just to have one group establish and idea that they are superior. When people finally realize this, and are willing to change, only then will the struggle for freedom cease to exist.

However, I am not implying that we should turn a blind eye to our differences. These are some of the sole elements that distinguish and identify one person from another. They should be revered, not disregarded or looked down upon. When you can see yourself in someone else, you can see the concurrence of both yourself and someone knew. For some, this instills a sense of unease, maybe even nervousness, or fear. The fear that we really aren’t that different after all. That not one of us is superior to the other in the long run, and that things even out if you can simply manage to wait long enough.

The author's comments:
This is a piece i wrote to explain my views on how the The struggle for freedom depends on our ability to accept our interdependence-to see ourselves reflected in every other human being and to respect and honor our differences.

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