Kotlowitz’s “I See Everything Through This Tragedy” paints the picture on how violence affects the lives of those subjected by highlighting their ongoing struggles. The thematic mention of murders throughout this reading also exposes just how life altering, unrelenting and spiritually depleting violence acts can be. There is a sympathetic ear because not only are the victims dignified; they are also young, innocent and fearful of their lives. It is upsetting to read one principles observation of her student’s demeanor right before school lets out. “Students would get into altercations. They’d run down the hall, slam lockers and holler at each other and teachers. They were, in essence, preparing themselves for the dangerous walk home.” And then another case in which a student stops her in the hall and tells her, “I’m going to be next.” What! Where is the protection for our youth? It’s ridiculous that in many communities children have to literally prepare themselves for unwarranted violence. And to be discouraged from sharing their experience out of fear that if they do they’ll somehow he held culpable for the crime they’ve witnessed even further proves how unprotected and alone they really are in this world. That there is no one looking out for them, this is disheartening. How is it that those, such as militants who have volunteered their lives to combat or partake in violence, are better protected and prepared to face physical force so as to injure or abuse than children who are simply trying make it home safely from school. In “How to Halt The Butchery in Syria” there are outlined measures on how to effectively keep the peace within a country. Meetings are held, intelligence gathered and solutions procured. This intern was all in reflection of determined protestors who were determined to face down bullets with chants, signs and their own bodies. And what stuck out most to me were the last two sentences of the ending paragraph. “The international community can draw on the power of nonviolence and create zones of peace in what are now zones of death. The Syrians have the ability to make that happen; the rest of the world must give them the means to do it.” If this conviction was applied and used as a guide to end the acts of brutality that young children are being exposed to, I believe it would make a world of a difference. And if we as Americans can assist and become a major stake in helping Syria’s neighbors stop the killing, why can’t we help our own?
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