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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Sixteen-year-old Samenta Dorce believes that teenage rumors are fueled by jealousy and revenge. She says she once was the target of false gossip that she was dating a friend’s boyfriend. “Although rumors bother me, it didn’t affect my schoolwork because school was a great distraction for me,” says Dorce, who attends Community Academy of Science and Health. Many conflicts in high school are caused by rumors and misconceptions, which can escalate into bullying. Gossip can be attention-seeking entertainment for some but can ruin the reputations of others. Fourteen-year-old Hyde Park resident Jolynne Limontas says that loose talk can be a complication for her at school. “How can you be around people who think they know something about you that isn’t even true,” she says. Christina Novembre, 16, from Boston Latin Academy, says the best way to deal with negative chatter is to ignore it. “People are just looking for a reaction,” she says. “If you are unbothered about it then it’ll die down quickly.”
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Can you imagine a world without the death penalty -- where people feel free to kill whoever they want? I f the death penalty doesn’t exist, the police don’t have the same control over people. People know that they can go to prison but will continue killing. If we keep the death penalty, they will be afraid to kill. I know that a person never changes. If you killed someone, you will do it again because you do not care about human life. DEATH PENALTY? YES.
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