Seventeen-year-old Karla Ramires-Diaz, from Boston Community Leadership Academy, says she’d rather be dropped than forgotten. “I would want a person that is really special to me to remember me always,” she says. As high school is nearing the end for seniors, many teens are bound to part ways one way or another. How they disentangle is a matter of debate. Zachary Luckett, 17, from Roslindale, says he would hate not being remembered. “What is the point of them knowing me at all if they will just forget me?” he asks. Emili Ramires-Diaz, 17, from Dorchester, agrees that being forgotten is cold. She says: “Memories are important.”
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Sixteen-year-old Kianah Moss was watching a YouTube video of a test that featured a 10-year-old girl walking up to random people and asking them if they could help her find her mother. The goal of this invented circumstance was to test people’s empathy. But Moss’s jaw dropped when the process went awry: A random man called out to the young girl, saying that her mom was looking for her. He claimed to live in the same building as her mother, grabbed the girls’ wrist, and tried to take off with her. These social experiments have become a growing Internet sensation, where people record their concocted scenarios to see how society reacts. It is the same ethical premise used in the TV show, “What Would You Do?” But the unscripted turn of events on this YouTube video proved that art really does imitate life -- often a dangerous proposition. “[This experiment] is disturbing as it is, so imagine what else could happen,” says Moss, who attends the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. The attempted abduction was eventually staved off by at least one person in the area who passed the compassion quiz, but not before reality intervened. Destiny King, 15, from Dorchester, feels that such soul-searching research isn’t worth the risk. “[The little girl] could’ve gotten seriously hurt and could never be seen again,” says King. Fifteen-year-old Malik Rise, from Roxbury, was also not amused after watching the video. “It’s not funny what happened to the little girl,” says Rose.
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Culture Club
Three Generations, Three different views of the World
Fekadu Assefa, 15, from Mission Hill, says that the past should be a lesson; we should learn and try not to make those same mistakes again. But for our glory days, it shall be repeated. History is a never-ending puzzle: appreciate and understand it and maybe it will show mercy on our souls. “Society needs to change how we view each other. We should be more open-minded about crimes,” says Assefa, adding that we should consider only sending people to prison for serious crimes and not minor ones. As time changes, our view of the world changes along. Many think the past was better but there are also those who believe that it’s best to be in the present. Now we’re going to see by comparing different views by different people from Boston of different ages. Teacher Michael Roper, 40, says that we don’t know how to accept our differences. And that’s causing our society tremendous harm. “Sometimes we clash in what we believe is right for our world,” he says. Our world is full of variety, teens say, so we must try to comprehend and embrace our diversity to create a society in which we respect each other as brothers and sisters, not enemies. Teacher Albert Maldonado, 60, says that society has become somewhat decadent due to a misinterpretation of ethics. He also believes that we haven’t changed much from our ancestors because we’re committing many of the same errors they did. “Don’t look back, look ahead,” he advises, “and try to make every day better.”
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Wilkinson Fortilus, 16, from the Community Academy of Science and Health, understands why, for teens, fighting seems to be a solution to settling disputes. “If you fight and you win, you will get respect from the person you had drama with,” says Fortilus. You might also get arrested, kicked out of school or your parents’ home, or even lose your life, teens say, so best to think twice before you engage in fisticuffs -- or the use of more serious weapons. In fact, last month near the Jackson Square T station, angry words turned into a physical clash, which escalated into one teen fatally stabbing another. Christaline Lorjuste, 17, from TechBoston Academy, says that some teens are easily influenced by media images that seem to promote the use of belligerence. “So many people are following what others are doing in this world,” she says. Kenderline Mene, 16, from Boston Green Academy, says that unfortunately, nobody wants to be called a punk for backing away from a battle. “Others say just fight and get it over with,” she says.
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Fourteen-year-old Rosauri Lara, from Dorchester, thinks that teens need to study about world religions so they can help lessen tensions between people. “We need to learn to be culturally literate in order to tolerate others,” Lara says. From sociology to political science, many of a student’s subjects use religion as a focal point for learning. Still, Ashley DePina, 13, feels it is not necessary to know about the many religions worldwide. "It doesn't benefit us in any way," says DePina, from dorchester. Fourteen-year-old Kayin Walker, from Mattapan, disagrees. "Not learning about other religions," Walker says, "is like picking out clothes at the store and not looking at the price tag."
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