Expressive, passionate, and just a little nervous, Melati, 16, and Isabel, 14, spoke for six minutes about a massive worldwide problem which has been apparent on Balinese beaches and in its surrounding oceans for decades, plastic pollution. Students of Green School Bali, the sisters have grown up on the island, experiencing first-hand how its environment has been progressively trashed.
Standing in the delivery room wearing a flimsy pair of rewashed latex gloves and holding a pair of surgical scissors in my hands, I became acutely aware of one of the many statistics which had been shared with us on day one. I was a medical student working in a government hospital in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa; it was 1997. The figure flashing through my mind was that 50% of the women using the delivery unit were HIV positive.
We as global citizens, even if not American, have a right to demand the end of deaths, the end of murders and the end of what we can only see as a love of guns. We love our American friends and neighbors.
To bond with nature, we often visit parks, gardens, or perhaps, seek out a quiet spot in the mountains. Our humanity, it seems, is tied to the landscape. The cemetery, however, with its grim statues and wrought iron gates, is a destination left avoided.
It’s a long painful history that continues to repeat itself. The greatest thing we can do as a human population is to finally break the chains that our minds have been tightened with; release our intellect to combat the immoral and unethical need to submit one’s self to anyone or any ideal.
Many people don’t know that western countries are a part of human exploitation. People think it’s only located in third world countries, but it isn’t. What many people fail to realize is that there are many different types of exploitation.
I’ve discovered that it is not my own identity that I am at war with, but how the people around me are responding to it. In this era of modernity and global access, how have we not figured out how to identify with people who are not exactly like us?
Water, water, everywhere…or is it? Water covers 70% of our planet, though fresh water required for drinking, bathing in, and irrigating our farm fields is only 3% of the world’s water. Our civilization depends on a plentiful supply of clean water, and yet in some parts of the world it iss becoming ever harder to obtain. Climate change and other factors have caused huge shortages of water across the developing world, and also in rich areas like the state of California, where a multi-year drought is still ongoing. As a result, around 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water and it is scarce for at least one month of the year for 2.7 billion more.
The malleable minds of teenagers, in particular, suffer from overexposure to unrealistic body representations. In extreme cases, this insecurity can lead to something far more serious – body dysmorphia.
No discussion about legalization should end without the topic of children at least coming up as a part of the discussion. What should not happen is for children to be used as a weapon in a war of words.