How Being Young Makes Me Feel Powerless Sometimes
Stop what you're doing and think about your life. Is it comfortable or happy or sad? Are you drowning in a pile of homework that you should be doing at this very moment?
I am writing this essay a day after a three-day environmental journalism workshop I attended. Fun fact, it was the first organization I joined that was not (kind of) related to school. I finally stepped out of my comfort zone just like how those articles tell me to. I can't describe the feeling of actually meeting people outside my school and socializing with them.
The workshop was by Camp SEWI at Silliman University. I got lost the first time I entered the campus. I am bad with directions. Although I learned a lot, there are still many questions in my head right now.
Environmental journalism is a tough job. I realized that most humans forget to appreciate our planet. Media that reach out to young people tend to be mostly about trends, and I haven't encountered anything that has tackled the natural world. I have to admit that sometimes I forget about my environment, too. Why is this so? Well, as per my observations on society, people are caught up with their lives. The materialistic part of life.
People are so caught up with their lives. We are always working to earn some money to get what we need. Students are always thinking about what they are going to do in school. When we finally have a break from responsibilities, we don't really think about this planet. Whenever we do, is it even the first thing on our minds?
We are taught in school to save Mother Earth but in reality, we don't know how.
That workshop woke something in me that I never knew was there. My love for the Earth. How could I not love the very planet that I live in? This is the only home for me. We are taught in school to save Mother Earth but in reality, we don't know how. We can reduce damage but this world is filled with corruption. But how can we save this planet? That's what my young self thought. How can we stop people who are blinded by greed from doing more damage to our home?
One thing that I cherished most at sixteen is education. Malala Yousafzai inspired me years ago to treasure education. But now I am telling you that maybe if we have a subject that involves the environment and show students that we need to love Earth, we can do less damage to our planet.We can't just tell grown-ups what to do, especially the higher ups because it is less likely they'll change their minds or even have a change of heart. I can't just go up to the president and ask him to love the environment nor can I tell developed countries to lessen their contributions to the damage that cause global warming.
Sometimes, being young can make you feel powerless but that's not how I was raised. I have a voice that I haven't used yet. With this voice, I want to amplify the voices of people around me. I want to amplify Earth's voice and the children in it.
I don't want to grow old and see this planet in ruins. I don't want to feel the heat of the sun on my skin and flinch because it hurts. I want children to see Earth as their home, a home where they won't worry about clean water because they have it. A place where they do not have to worry about floods. Nor do I want them to starve and be ill because of pollution.
It is too hopeful for me to think that there will be a better Earth. Is it wrong to wish that it will not come to an extent where we can no longer salvage our own planet? Is it too childish to hope that people will be able to hear me out and others before me that we need to do something?
I think we need to make a movement. I believe we need a movement. This is a small step for me. I do not know if anyone will read this, but I do hope that we will all join in making Earth healthier. I write to tell stories. And Earth? This is a story I have to tell.