Open Your Eyes to the World Around Us

Open+Your+Eyes+to+the+World+Around+Us

Isabella Wartzenluft, Reporter and Editor

I have lived in the same area of Wisconsin my entire life and through this time, I have come to realize what a sheltered world I live in. Americans so often take for granted our opportunities and liberties. Though I do from time to time as well, I have begun attempting to understand what goes on outside of my world. This way, I can truly grasp the tragedies that other people endure

Gwendolyn Schweitzer, an Arrowhead junior, says,I don’t feel like people in the United States are informed as much as they should be about what goes on outside of their homes because there are some tragic cases that aren’t big enough in the media’s eyes to be shown throughout the country or even the world. News stories and articles are sort of twisted in their own way, so sometimes there are lack of details, and we all miss out on them.”

As a high school student, I hear complaints about school more than anything else, especially in passing conversation in the hallways. Students gripe about stress, waking up early in the morning, and how they little time they spend socializing. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 59 million children do not currently receive an education. Twenty-four million of them will never enter a classroom in their life. This is not including the 64 million adolescents who are not in school.

School can be stressful. It can drain energy. It takes time and effort. But it is something we should be grateful for. Hundreds of millions of people are not given an education, and I am lucky enough to be someone who does.

Schweitzer says, “I obviously feel like school is very important, and I think that it’s a very good idea to have a wide variety of classes to choose from for students. It’s valuable to be able to have a wide range of classes for people of all interests, and I feel like schools should sort of provide the same material for the core subjects so that many people have the same advantages as others. I do also feel like education after high school is important not only for job and opportunity purposes, but also just for the sake of learning new things and extending our knowledge.”

I remind myself to be grateful as often as possible, even when standing in my kitchen. I have clean water to drink, yet there are people around the world who don’t have enough to survive. I have a refrigerator full of healthy food, and people are starving in my country and others as well. When it comes to school, I tell myself despite the workload, there are people, many females in particular, who have never set foot in a classroom.

The news is covered with stories of war torn countries. Many of these countries are the same ones that have few educational opportunities. According to Express Newspaper, only 11 countries are currently at peace. Though the United States is involved in conflict, we do not experience full blown war within our own borders.

While I am able to walk down the street and think of what my next task may be, people in other countries fear bombs falling from the sky. I walk around town enjoying the day while overseas there are constant riots, unlike the scattered ones that take place in the United States.

“I’m very grateful to live where I do because I think that I live in a peaceful area where people are friendly. I feel like all of our surrounding areas by school are pretty cozy and welcoming, so I find that very comforting,” says Schweitzer.

I don’t think about how lucky I am nearly as often as I should. I spend too much time worrying about a test I have the next day, or whether or not I have enough free time to be with friends on the weekend. My life could be a completely different story had I been born in a different country.

Reannyn Mathieu, Arrowhead junior, says, “I am incredibly grateful for where I live. This town may be boring, but it’s incredibly safe, clean, and offers many opportunities. There are far too many places in the country that are suffering economically and are just downright dangerous.”

I hope that there comes a day when Americans are fully aware of the misfortunes that millions of people encounter daily. According to the Global Homelessness Statistics, there are about 100 million people who currently do not have a home, and 1.6 billion who do not have proper housing. According to World Food Program, over 795 million people do not have enough food to live a proper, healthy life. This is one in nine people on Earth. According to The United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, there are 738 billion people who do not have access to clean water, and 2.5 billion who can not access proper sanitation. If you are fortunate enough to have a roof over your head and food and water in constant supply, be grateful for those commodities, as very few people have them.