by Ashley, Grade 8
January 4, 2013
If flowers were only one color, would you grow them? If markers were only one color, would you color with them? If the world was only one color, would you live in it? There would be no more pinks and purples for little girls to make their dream princess dresses. There would be no more reds for guys to give their loved ones hearts on Valentine’s Day. Do you want to live in a world where there is no diversity? Do you want to live in a world where everything stays the same and there is no change? Do you want to live in a world where only one color covers the streets and the halls that you walk through and there is not a dot of another color anywhere? I don’t; I want to live in a world where everybody is equal and everybody works as one no matter what the color of their skin is.
Dr. King’s widely known speech “I Have a Dream” powerfully expressed the fact that it doesn’t matter what color you are; it just matters what is deep down in your heart. At the time African-Americans were being humiliated, hurt, and even killed for being brown skinned while others roamed the streets thinking they were better than everybody because they were white. Nobody wants to be criticized for being a certain color because colors are what make the world so bright. Everyone, white and black, went to witness the reading of Dr. King’s speech at the Lincoln Monument on August 28, 1963. They gathered together to realize that everyone is equal and everyone should be treated with respect. Shouldn’t we be able to do the same today?
The children are our future, and we need to make the world better for them. Dr. King states, “Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” This quote is very important to me because without the generation that is alive today working together to put a stop to racism, there will not be a happy world left for future generations to come. Without love, hope, and happiness, there won’t be a better world for people to live in. We need to change our ways and make sure that whoever comes after will know that is okay to be the color you are and it is ok to be you.
One way we need to change our ways is by decreasing the violence in our society. Violence is not the answer for peace. Dr. King states, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” This means that we as African-Americans or any other race that was or still is being discriminated against should not hate or act bitter toward the people who are doing this to us. We should not react with violence but with intelligence and heart felt words that will let people understand the wrongs of racism and discrimination. Remember that two wrongs don’t make a right and with both sides reacting with violence, this world will never become a better place.
African-Americans are still discriminated against and hurt for being a different color. Dr. King says, “But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.” This statement means that even though our African-American ancestors have been through trials and tribulations to get us where we are today, there is still no freedom. We are still being hurt and criticized for being brown skinned when all African-Americans want is to be loved and appreciated for who we are and how God made us. He made all of us like this for a reason and that should be respected by any and everyone.
The life of everyone who lives in this world today is here for a reason. We all have a purpose in this world. We should all have the freedom to become lawyers, doctors, politicians, and teachers. We will be able to walk on streets and through hallways and not be afraid to say that we are proud of who we are. The colors of black and white will one day come together and form a beautiful creation just like the colorful rainbow forms a beautiful creation within the blue sky. Believe me that day will come. Dr. King’s dream will come true. It might not be today; it might not be tomorrow. But, someday we will be “free at last!”
New Way of Thinking
My hope for this country is that its people (citizens or not) realize that only by working together to solve problems can we improve our future. Following segregated agendas only segregates the community.
West Grove, Pennsylvania
Of the long list of hopes that I have for the United States of America, my most important is for people to respect themselves. If we learn to respect ourselves, we will respect our peers, neighbors, environment, and streets. External appreciation begins with an internal appreciation of oneself.
Fariss Adams Ivey
That we all strive to raise honest children; support the troops; pinch a few pennies so we can give some of them away; think and act for seventh-generation sustainability; vote and elect a president who will do the right thing and make the hard decisions; teach our children to pursue their dreams, not dollar signs, because true happiness is not dependent on income; and try to follow our own advice.
Las Vegas, Nevada
I hope America will become a safer, more respectful and friendly country again. We’ve lost the sense of community in this ultra-independent era. If people were more connected and caring, if families were stronger, if we all valued people, we would see so many current problems disappear.
Claremont, New Hampshire
That we will remember, return to, and live by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our freedom is precious; it is what our soldiers fight for and die protecting. It should never easily or willingly be surrendered for an illusion of safety. Our Founding Fathers did not exchange freedom for security. Neither should we.
Mary Elizabeth Williams
Edgewater Park, New Jersey
That more people take accountability for their choices in life and stop relying on others to solve their problems. This country is still the land of opportunity, but you may have to get out of your comfort zone to make a better life for yourself.
I hope that this country can provide the same sense of security that I was given as a child. I want my children’s biggest worry to be if they will pass a test in school, not if the building will still be standing because of a world war.
Bronx, New York
I’d love to see an end to the inequality between the haves and the have-nots. Too many have so little, while there are others who have enough to share. It’s such a simple thing: sharing what you have with others.
Kernersville, North Carolina
I hope the next president will be better at diplomacy and restore the worldwide respect we have lost during the current administration. Choosing war over other options is an ancient and barbaric tactic. It’s time we elected someone with better ideas and the courage to meet with world leaders or enforce economic sanctions or introduce incentives to buy American-made products.
Better health care for middle- and lower-class families. Better public transit to reduce dependency on foreign oil. Better public schools to prepare our future leaders.
My hope for our country is that it returns to a place where the American Dream can be obtained. I think our current poor economy and health-care issues are going to take a negative toll on our children. My hope is that the best candidate does win the presidential election. I hope we don’t give up emotionally as a nation and we continue to work toward making things better for everyone.
Closter, New Jersey
While I realize this is a word that’s being thrown around a lot these days, I hope for change. Here in Michigan the poverty level has risen, while the median income has gone down; every day it seems like more stores go out of business and more homes go up for sale. I want my children to grow up being proud to be from Michigan, and I don’t want them to have to leave to find good jobs and good places to live and raise their families. Overall I want to see the gap between the haves and the have-nots close. I want a good education to be affordable and available to everyone, and I want to see people make more changes toward being green: If we don’t do it for ourselves, let’s do it for our children. I don’t want my children to grow up in a world where the only polar bears and gorillas are in zoos.
That the November elections will herald the start of a new era in the United States.