If you ever wondered whether Kauai students have anything thoughtful to say about equality, race, compassion and unity, stop wondering.
Student essays were read at the recent Martin Luther King Jr. celebration hosted by the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai at the Lihue Neighborhood Center. They are clear, articulate, and heart-felt. We are proud of them for sharing their thoughts and hope you are too. They are setting the example we should all follow.
Here are excerpts of some of their essays:
“People shouldn’t be teased by the way they look and by what they wear. Bullying, teasing, and judging is wrong. When people bully others, they make others feel worthless, sad, and all those bad feelings no one wants to feel.”
— Shania Nishimori-Medeiros
“Everyone is different and you should know that. Some people look at themselves in the mirror and think they are worth nothing because of their skin color. You should be happy for how you look. But what matters is how you look on the inside.”
— Danika Schultz
“Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream was for everyone to be treated equally. You should not be judged by how your skins look.
“It’s like if you see someone wearing something funny. What do you do first? Look and laugh or keep doing what you were doing? I choose the second because the first one is rude and not nice to do. Maybe that’s just what they like to wear or maybe it’s part of their religion.”
— Ryannah Cabe
And, finally, we offer this essay in its entirety. Wise words for one so young. Let’s listen.
The Struggling Dream
Look at the country that we call home and live in today.
All the intricacies and complexities that it displays.
“God Bless America,”
“Land of the free, and the home of the brave,” we boldly say.
But all you can see is contradiction.
Racism, classism, sexism.
They re not like me.
They’re not normal.
So what gives me the reason,
To walk by them, talk with them, or even sit by them we say.
Look on the news,
An abundance of hate, terror, and injustice it loudly portrays.
BOOM, another bomb set off.
BANG, another mass shooting.
When will this all stop?
We have become a worldwide leading nation.
We have become a country full of prosperity and power.
But is it too much for us to handle?
Are we now a country rooted
With anger, hostility, and inequality?
From all the race riots, terrorists bombs, and school shootings,
When will all this nonsense stop?
When can we come to conscious and realize,
That this country of freedom that we live in
Is slowly deteriorating?
When can we finally
See something on the news
That is uplifting and sparks a positive trend?
When can we finally put an end to all these unnecessary things,
And turn it into positivity that encourages and uplifts?
Positivity that releases an aura of happiness that inspires.
Positivity that unites people together no matter who they are.
Positivity that brings pure and authentic love
To this dying earth we live in.
— Gerald Salud, Kauai High 10th-grader
Another Martin Luther King Jr. Day has come and gone but what he stood for, what he dreamed about, lives on thanks to Kauai youth willing to take a stand for what is right.