The Lakeland Mirror

Don’t forget, we are a part of nature!

Benjamin+Wilks+and+Ishmael+Beah+discuss+Beah%E2%80%99s+book.
Benjamin Wilks and Ishmael Beah discuss Beah’s book.

Benjamin Wilks and Ishmael Beah discuss Beah’s book.

Photo Courtesy of Lakeland College

Photo Courtesy of Lakeland College

Benjamin Wilks and Ishmael Beah discuss Beah’s book.

Benjamin Wilks, Sports Editor

How we react to each other and ourselves determines a lot about how we grow as people, and about how we grow as a whole.

Ishmael Beah, during his keynote speech on March 31, said “Nature reacts to humans; just as humans react to nature.” This quote stood out to me because from it you can see a connection, but also a disconnection. The connection is we are all a part of nature, but the disconnection is in the fact that many of us believe we are now above it, or parallel to it, and therefore don’t have to treat nature with respect. It is the same with how we treat or perceive others. If someone doesn’t feel welcomed, then they won’t come around.

I say this because, in light of Beah coming to Lakeland, I’ve heard a lot of opinions that I feel were not based on any evidence, but on the belief of stereotypical assumptions. Some second-guessed his writing abilities on the sole fact that they watched YouTube videos or felt that, because he couldn’t speak what they deemed proper English, he had help writing his memoir, even though he finished his schooling in America.

Just because he spoke one of his many languages with some pauses in between his words, he couldn’t have written this book? He’s not sophisticated enough to write with such correctness? Are you kidding me? Some doubted the content in his book, saying it doesn’t chronologically fit with what has happened in history, so they thought he made up some of his content. Let me ask you this: have you opened a U.S. history book? There are some people in this country who still believe Columbus truly discovered America, and they haven’t gone through a fraction of what Beah has, and they never will. You try living through a war as a child and writing a memoir about it. Even if he was off a little bit, who cares?

This mindset of, do I dare say, judging a book by its cover, is what is keeping this country, this world, from reaching its full potential. We are a part of nature, and the evil we emit from ourselves on to each other is energy that goes into our home and destroys it. Humans are the most destructive beings on the planet. The planet, in which we inhabit, regardless of how you think we got here, is dying because of our greed and our uncompassionate ways to each other. Being a decent human is not an impossible task.

Beah is one of the nicest people with whom I have come into contact with, and he was a child solider. Change is not impossible, but it is needed; for our good, and the good of the world.

 

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