Macaulay Essays 2012 Chevy


Prompt: Discuss some issue of local, national or international concern and its importance to you


            While passing by posters showcased in my school’s annual club fair, I stopped at the sight of the image of a young African boy wielding a rifle. I took a step closer to notice in greater detail the horrible image—the disturbing realization that he wasn’t holding a stuffed animal, but instead a weapon of destruction.   

            The American dream is based on the belief that one can rise from the dusts of deep discrimination and hardship, and reach the skies of success. However, children in third-world countries do not have this same opportunity; their voices are mute and they are too poor and uneducated to take action. In one account, a group of child soldiers feared the horrid choice of killing their peers for escaping: it was a choice of killing or being killed. Reading about these accounts disgusted me; it was surreal to imagine that while I remained at school, there were children like me who were being easily manipulated into becoming automatons of violence. While I played video games at home, children inAfrica were treading hills and roads, sweltering in the oppressive heat while carrying—in the form of a rifle—the burden of an impoverished childhood.

This issue illuminated an abhorrent aspect of humanity. I couldn’t pretend that I didn’t have an innate desire to help others, and I especially couldn’t ignore the image of the young boy’s aching, sullen eyes piercing into mine. I joined Free the Children, a club dedicated to advocating and helping exploited and helpless children around the world.  

            I live in a country where the economy has plummeted, where the rich do not pay their fair share, and where a student graduating from college is unable to find a job. As much as the concerns of my country affect me, I believe the concerns of other nations are just as important. No child in any nation should have to voluntarily become a child soldier in order to support his or her family—to succumb to these pressures. Being able to take part in an organization that helps other children is very rewarding; it not only gives me joy, but it gives hope to others as well.

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