My Universe Of Obligation | Teen Ink

My Universe Of Obligation

June 13, 2011
By princess6 GOLD, Berwyn, Illinois
princess6 GOLD, Berwyn, Illinois
10 articles 0 photos 42 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You choose your own destiny" :)

Since I was a young child I was always taught to accept others differences. I never looked to in depth in accepting others, I just lived by knowing everyone wasn’t the same and that’s what makes life beautiful. It wasn’t until my 8th grade English class where I learned how necessary tolerance is and how beautiful yet ugly the world was.
My English teacher based her entire reading curriculum on a concept “Universe of Obligation”. In the beginning of the year we had to tell her who was part of our Universe of Obligation, we all said family members, friends, pets etc.. her goal was by the end of the year was for all of us to expand our universe obligation to people across the world, even if we don’t know them. We learned about the Holocaust, even saying the word Holocaust gives me shivers.
I used to only know the basics of the Holocaust, nothing in depth.. In a way I wish I only knew the basics because now that I know better I am obligated to do better, that’s how big of an impact my English teachers teachings had on me . In the past century (20th) about 6 Genocides had occurred. Millions of lives perished, and not many people came to their aide.
The Armenian Genocide was the second Genocide to occur in the 20th century (technically speaking), although many foreign nations condemned the Genocide they did nothing to help the Armenians in need, since the leaders of the Armenian Genocide went unpunished, it allowed Hitler to lead the Holocaust, The Armenian Genocide actually served as a blueprint for Hitler for the Holocaust.
When times are hard people tend to find a group of people to blame for their problems. When Hitler took power in Germany, Germany was at its height of hyperinflation, he used propaganda to persuade German citizens that Jews damaged the German economy, he also used the excuse that he needed more space for the Aryan race to expand, funny thing is Jews made up about one percent of Germanys population at that time. He expanded his views to neighboring countries ex: Poland , France etc. What many people do not know was that Hitler committed a felony in Germany in 1923, he should have been deported back to his native land Austria but instead was only sent to prison for only two years.
The world does its best to give us all fuzzy edges but some still manage to have bold outlines, Oskar Shindler for example, a man with a corrupt reputation, was able to save the most Jews single handily during the Holocaust. Carl Wilkens a fellow American was the ONLY foreigner who stayed in Rwanda during the Rwandan Genocide, and provided the Rwandans with hope that not everyone has given up on them. So strive to be one of these few with bold outlines.
You may ask did any positive outcome come from the Genocides? The answer is yes. Although there is NEVER an excuse for millions of innocent lives being taken away, the past horrific events that occurred in history have taught us how important tolerance is. “History must never fade away” is an important quote to remember we must acknowledge the past, but also learn from the past and we must never allow this to happen again in the future
Ignorance is the first step to Genocide. We must not only learn about each others differences but all embrace others differences. We learned a lesson at the expense of MILLION of lives . “ The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for the good man to do NOTHING” we must step up and expand our own “universe of obligation”
Don’t look at the victims with eyes of sadness, look at them with anger of this injustice, anger that will help you help them. The ones most in pain are the most silent, we have to be their voice and speak out for genocide prevention.1.5 million Armenian Christians perished in the Armenian Genocide (1915) alone, imagine if we were to add up all the people who died in all the Genocides in our history?

It starts today.
With our generation.
Teach tolerance .
You have a voice, speak out.
Millions of lives are depending on us to make a difference.

The author's comments:
"When the good man does nothing it allows evil to triumphy"-Edmund Burk

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This article has 1 comment.

jchambs17 said...
on Jul. 24 2015 at 2:35 pm
Well done, princess6. I'd say you are speaking out. Keep going! You are making me wonder what the other genocides are -- besides Armenia, Nazi, and Rwanda. Why aren't they more well known? Thank you for writing this.