Today, there are about 7 billion people living on this planet. Among these people, it is clear to say that no one is the same. Many individuals may practice Islam or Judaism, may be black or Puerto Rican, male or female. The point is that we live in this heterogeneous mixture, where being different makes every individual unique and stand out. However, dealing with such differences has not been a tranquil journey. Many lives have been affected and continue to be harmed because of a lack of understanding "these differences". There is only one way to put this ongoing journey at ease and that is with education. Yet, how can obtaining knowledge make such an impact?
Nowadays, whether we know it or not the world seems to be divided by an invisible line bordering religions, genders, and races. An invisible line, that if dared to be crossed, has the effect of causing global and domestic issues. For example, police brutality in the United States, unfair wages due to race and gender, and religious wars impacting more than one nation. Many individuals are not accepted for who they are in public spaces such as high schools, workplaces, and institutions.
So you are probably wondering how can education diminish this divide and help society become more accepting. Will achieving a PhD in Nursing or a Doctorate in Computer Science help? Maybe. Can receiving education from the top colleges and universities help? Maybe. However, the type of education needed for change may not be found in top ranked schools or obtained after getting the highest degrees in selective fields. The type of education needed is the one that will help an individual understand how the world works and why the people in it are different. The type of education needed includes the process of asking questions, understanding what was learned and spreading awareness to others. This is the type of education that can create change.
You have probably heard it a plethora of times, but the fact is today's generation is the future. Every action and decision young adults and teens make now will determine the outcome of the future. It may be hard to believe but today's teens and young adults highly impact the society in numerous ways.
Amandla Stenberg, a 17 year-old who many may know by her role as Rue on in demand movie series, The Hunger Games, delivers her perspective on Black culture and educates others on the topic through social media. Stenberg has turned heads and gained many followers after a school history project she posted online, "Don't Cash Crop My Cornrows", which explains the discrediting of Black culture in the fashion industry and pop culture and its racial impact. Stenberg is an influential young woman who has a driven passion to speak as a NAACP advocate and to change the unjust point of view society displays on different ethnic groups.
In high school, classmates take on leadership roles, including myself, such as being a part of student council or helping others out within the curriculum. Now imagine if we, had the opportunities to open our minds to things outside of many standards of curriculum that do not include education on understanding everyday differences in areas, such as religion and race. If we learn beyond what is currently taught as a cultural understanding in many schools we can make a positive difference and share that gained knowledge with our communities, which can slowly spread change.
There are so many issues happening that are impacting the way individuals visualize the world. From the smallest classrooms to the largest empires, today's generation has the capability to create a more just society. There are several ways for an individual to open oneself to new perceptions.
- Join an extracurricular activity or club in your community outside of a selective interest.
- Reading books, blogs, or other literary pieces are great ways to broaden your mind through an author's perspective and learn about different fields.
- Talking to friends, family, classmates, and teachers who share different cultural backgrounds is a great way for you to interact and ask questions.
Young activist, Malala Yousafzai, once said, "If we want to achieve our goal, then let us empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge and let us shield ourselves with unity and togetherness." Yousafzai promotes the growth of education in the world and encourages others to not forget its value. Knowledge is extremely powerful. The people of the nation, especially the youth, should take the initiative to learn, understand, and help others comprehend differences.
Educating ourselves and others is an essential increment to establishing a better environment for the diverse world we live in. After all it is the young people's minds and energy that can impact the future of the world. Therefore, every person should take the initiative to build a world where individuals are understood and with that gradual understanding of differences can promote better societal growth.