I go to a rather peculiar high school. It’s one of those schools which is rather… I guess you could call it “interesting”. The thing about Monta Vista is how the students here view life. We see things differently. And at times, it’s almost unbelievable.
Consider the following paragraph. This is how a normal person sees it.
Peter woke up, panting. It was only just another nightmare. The same stupid one with the evil white bunnies. He slowly crawled out of bed and groped in the two-am darkness for his slippers. They weren’t hard to find; four, red eyes glared at him from the side of his bed. White bunny slippers… again. Peter woke up, panting. It was only just…
Now here we have it from the eye’s of a Monta Vistian. You’ll notice something rather different.
peter woke up, pA nting. it wA s only just A nother nightmA re. the sA me stupid one with the evil white bunnies. he slowly crA wled out of bed A nd groped in the two-A m dA rkness for his slippers. they weren’t hA rd to find; four, red eyes glA red A t him from the side of his bed. white bunny slippers… A gA in. peter woke up, pA nting. it wA s only just…
Poor Peter, caught in his nightmare within a nightmare within a nightmare… but that’s not the point. Following the apparent difference let’s look at another word: “grades”, or should we say “
Clearly, my school is obsessed with
grA des. We’ve all got this ridiculous disease; sometimes we fail to acknowledge anything else that exists in life, anything that might actually be more important than our personal goals.
However, this has severe consequences; if one only focuses on grades, that person misses something that is imperative to understand: reality. After all, that’s where we live, isn’t it. We don’t live in a dream, like Peter (though I guess one could call reality a nightmare). Ironically, in an effort to become smarter, we actually become ignorant, not understanding so many things that govern our world. We are, in short, nearsighted people.
Indeed there are quite a few things we miss. But there is one crucial thing we do not see, not just us Monta Vistians, but people in this country in general. We fail to recognize something very real and something very relevant, known infamously as poverty. And I’m not talking about Africa. I’m talking here, in the United States.
For those who are poor in our country, President Obama has created The American Jobs Act is an Act that is supposed to help our fellow Americans who, in such treacherous economic times, have fallen below the poverty line.
It seems like a no-brainer. We need to pass this Act. Yet, as I was walking around campus asking people to support the American Jobs Act, I was defeated with a heavy resistance from a number of people. These people argued that this measure will raise their taxes, a horrible infringement on their rights. First of all, President Obama’s plan only raises taxes on families who earn over a million dollars a year. But let’s assume it did raise taxes for us middle class folk. Let’s assume that everyone who is not going paycheck to paycheck had to pay taxes. This Act would have no hope for making it.
The reason is not because we lack empathy, or we have no souls. It is because we are nearsighted. We concentrate only on what is immediately in our minds: our money, our income, our house, our lifestyle. And in doing to, we tune out everything else around us.
In Monta Vista, we live in a bubble of safely, where the influences of the economy and the problems of our government barely reach our ears. I’ve been outside that bubble. I’ve been to places where poverty is real. I have relatives in India who don’t have a phone, who have never heard of Internet. I’ve seen people begging for money from every car at a stoplight, seen them waiting outside temples for alms. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen past the gargantuan A, the nearsighted goal, and have seen the world as it really is. And it is my firm belief that the time has come for the people in this nation to see this too.