I’m not a Mayan. I did not write this with the belief that the world would end on Friday. Although, figuratively speaking, I wish it would. As I have crossed over from childhood and adolescent woes to adult ones, the reality is too much.
When I was a child, my worries were minimal to none. I worried if my mother would ever buy me the Jordan sneakers I begged for every Christmas or if the boy I liked in school liked me back. But after last week’s massacre in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were shot to death at an elementary school, I’m at my breaking point.
We all should be.
In my eight short years of adulthood, I have seen teachers go from educating and inspiring students to brainwashing and programming them to pass multiple-choice tests. I have seen the same friends I once called brothers and sisters on street corners, behind prison bars and in caskets. I have witnessed a generation that is dying faster than it is living.
And I cannot help but to wonder what that means for my children. My oldest son, who is 3-years-old, will enter elementary in 2013. I would love to tell him that elementary school will offer him a chance to think critically, a chance to learn cursive handwriting and a chance to interact with other students in a safe environment.
But none of that is true.
Schools have become watered down and unsafe. But do not blame the schools. The schools are a reflection of what is happening all around the world. We carry more guns than we do knowledge and more hate than we do love. We are surrounded by more strangers than we are by family and by more war than peace. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened.
But what are we going to do about it?
For the past few days, I have had my eyes glued to every local and national newscast. I have also followed the news online. My Facebook friends, who on normal days bicker about unhappy relationships and haters, have all stopped to mourn for the victims and their families. But what will happen when the reporters have been assigned to another story and when the government has moved on to the next tragedy?
If we want remember those beautiful children and educators, we must end the world as we know it. We must take the necessary steps to refurbish our education system, revive our villages and renew mental health and gun law conversations. I want the world to end on Friday, so that when my child enters elementary in 2013, he will be educated and most of all safe.
Tunette Powell is married with two children. You can read her every Tuesday on momaha.com
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