Letters to the Editor: It’s time to get involved; We have the power to change things

Dear Editor:

As I read through today’s issue of The New York Times, my heavy heart crashed to the floor. Shattering, the pieces scattered across the tile for my peers to kick around or brush aside like debris in the middle of the maze they call life. Tears filled my eyes as I read of a country in poverty, shackled by the chains of debt, and people forced to work from one paycheck to the next to pay medical bills they can’t afford in order to stay alive in this brutal epicycle of economic slavery.

The pains in my chest began to throb as I read article after article telling of the chilling state of the world. Death, destruction, war and oppression fueled by greed, hate and bigotry. My mind was vexed as I tried to comprehend how and why, on this beautiful home we call Earth, this is happening. Contemplating how humanity could succumb to such forces and in turn slowly destroy itself, a lump in my throat began to form. It continued to swell as I held back a gut-wrenching scream as realizations began to come to light.

This is happening because we are letting it. It is no one’s fault but our own. We sit back and let it happen, ignoring it or expecting others to take care of it. Again and again we let others take liberties, freedoms, and basic universal human rights away from us and our fellow man. We sit down and shut up, entranced by our television shows and manipulated by controlled media.

Largely because we have been conditioned to believe we don’t stand a chance against the giants who rule our world, who look down on us through their looking glasses. Standing in the middle of the Student Center, I wept. I wept for you, I wept for me. I wept for our brothers and sisters, for our children and theirs.

The streaks down my face, the salty sting of my tears carried in them years of anguish we have put ourselves through. Losses to humanity, to the gift of life have piled up so high that it is hard to stay afloat anymore, but we must. We must stand up, once and for all, against this kind of system. We must stand up for things that matter and fight with all of our power for a world in which freedom, justice and equality are preserved above all others. No one person can do everything, but everyone can do something.

Collectively we have the power to bring about change and to work for progress and righteousness. It must start here, now, with each and every one of us working together, a collective force of human potential. We must believe in our friends and families, our neighbors and foes, but above all we must believe in ourselves. As Edmund Burke said, all that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. So please, get off Facebook and MySpace, unhook yourselves from the TV and video games and get involved. My fellow students of Kent State, we have a chance that we must not let go.

ara Raftovich

Junior photo-illustration major