We live in a world where not everyone is given the same opportunities, and those who take their gifts for granted shield their eyes from the horrors of those who cannot speak for themselves. We live in a country where we receive the ability to share our humble and not-so-humble opinions, where we receive the ability to practice any religion we desire, and where we receive the ability to go for a Sunday drive without the worry of an air raid.
We possess privileges, but so little of us use them.
We live in a world where six-year-old children are sold into prostitution because they are deemed as property. Young people around the world do not receive the right to earn college degrees because their countries cannot afford the means to support universities. Many people around the world cannot even receive formal schooling at the elementary and high school levels because of their countries’ tragic economic states. Parents cannot find food for their children because terrorist groups roam their streets. Safety seems to overrule the need for nourishment.
We live in a country where we receive the opportunities to work for companies such as Amnesty International in order to help these oppressed individuals find their voices. Attorneys, such as Kimberley Motley, can work pro bono in other countries in order to help these underprivileged individuals seek justice. College students can help organizations bring clean water to third world countries.
We live in a country where young people matter, and their voices matter. The topic of most economic discussions in classrooms revolves around the price of tuition for public universities. Who creates the largest percentage of these college-goers? Young people, of course.
When we turn eighteen, we receive the ability to vote. We receive the ability to go out into the community in which we can use our age to make a difference. Instead of turning eighteen and simply buying cigarettes, young people have the ability to show the world their levels of competency when casting a vote in order to help their futures. We can exemplify our competence for social and economic issues, and we can share our opinions on how to better ourselves in order to help those around us.
This is not a post to promote a campaign. This is not a persuasion essay to convince you to vote right or to vote left. This is simply a message you can ponder, sift through your fingers, or clench between your teeth: If you have the ability to make a difference, then why don’t you use your ability?
Lauren is a Ball State University alumna with a Bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She enjoys breakfast for dinner with a side of literary enjoyment.