Hope of Seeing a Brighter Side


Annabelle Anchondo, Writer

Life is like a game of Jenga. All of the outside forces are acting upon the wooden blocks and the person’s hand, determining each person’s fate with another removal of a block. One wrong move, and someone’s entire world can come crumbling down in seconds. Each block in Jenga represents all the negativity that exists in today’s world, all of the terrible events that take place each and every day, and the very elements that make this world such an unfavorable and undesirable place to live in. With every new negative element that makes itself known in society, another block falls until finally it crashes against the ground where it settles and waits for some unlucky soul to try and put it back in its place. However, in this very moment, there are no more souls to put back the pieces and mend what has been broken. The world could not be more at war, this nation could not be more divided, and the people could not be more separated from one another. Politically, Democrats and Republicans have lived to rise against each other and fight their way through what is supposed to be a democracy. Decision-makers of this nation have sealed the fate of innocent people. Hate thrives in every street of every city throughout America, and violence can be seen and heard in all directions of life. Constantly, people hear of mass shootings, stabbings, awful crimes being committed, people attacking others, bullying, harassment, and people treating each other unkind. Wars and tragic events take place every single day. People lose a loved one, someone they truly care about, every second of each day. If death isn’t hard to handle on its own, Covid-19 came along and not only stole the lives of so many individuals, but stole the last bit of trust anyone ever had in this nation and its leaders. The very principles in which this country was founded on have been torn to shreds. People can be seen kneeling for the national anthem, refusing to put their hand over their heart for the Pledge of Allegiance, and denying to stand with other fellow Americans. The respect for other human beings and this country has been lost, and no one is willing to mend the relationships in which have been ruined and fix what has been broken, making this world such an awful place to exist in. Yet, in the past where far worse was taking place, Americans were able to look past all of the negativity surrounding them and find the light in the situation. Individuals were still able to see the world through a more glorified lens. Beauty was seen through the pain. Strength empowered the weak. In the past, people have put their differences and biases aside to come together as Americans, help each other in times of need, and help one another when tragedy strikes.  

It’s not about what someone looks like, where they’re from, or what they believe in or support; it’s all about seeing people for who they are and looking at them as a person, as a human being.

Where individuals were left to decide whether to abandon their biases for the sake of someone else and this country or keep their differences, they chose to set all of their differences and biases aside to rise up as Americans. People chose to be a nation, be united, and stand together. An instance in history that left Americans with this decision was on September 11, 2001. The very day that plays over and over on the minds of so many Americans. It is a memory that everyone wishes they could shake. Even those who were not in New York to witness those planes crash into the sides of the Twin Towers and set the World Trade Center ablaze were affected. Innocent people’s lives were stolen from them, taken by terrorists who had no remorse whatsoever. They were intruders of America who came to destroy this great nation and leave Americans to pick up the pieces. Despite the terrific sight, heroes were seen rushing into the World Trade Center to save the lives of those needing saved. EMT’s, firefighters, police officers, and average civilians received the title of hero that day for their ultimately brave actions and the sacrifice in which they made to save the lives of those they didn’t even know. They did it knowingly risking their own life in order for others to go home to their families. Even after all of those lives were saved, so many more were still lost. The United States lost 3,000 Americans that day, and God was blessed with 3,000 angels. Those lost never even had the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones, and they never had the chance to see what happened in the days following 9/11. In a time where the entire country was mourning, when America should have been rattled to the core, people stood up together to fight for the individuals who had their lives taken from them. Someone’s religion, culture, and beliefs weren’t a factor. It didn’t matter if someone was white, African American, or Hispanic. Someone could have been pink, and it would not have mattered to anyone. What mattered was the cause in which they were all standing together for. Everyone stood to defend each other and this nation. Every year on September the 11th, the people of the United States of America rise together to honor and remember those who passed and remember the strength in which they possessed in order to rise above such a terrific event. Much like 9/11, the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 inspired each and every American to stand as one united front. Despite the fact that thousands of soldiers had died, Americans knew that they had to stand together to get revenge on Japan. Men were enlisting in the military and Uncle Sam was calling upon individuals to serve their duty. They were immediately heading off to war to defend the freedoms established in the Constitution and by doing so, they were fighting for every single soldier who lost their life in Pearl Harbor. The women were left with the men’s jobs. Without hesitation, women began working in factories making the very supplies needed for war. They helped provide American soldiers with the tools, equipment, and necessities they needed to stay alive and fight in World War II. At the time, it didn’t matter that women were doing a “man’s” job. To everyone, the importance was American soldiers were getting the supplies in which they needed to defend this great nation and ensure they would come home to their loved ones. Without people willing to come together despite any differences they might have had, the world in which people live in today wouldn’t be the same in the worst ways imaginable.  

Katy Jones, Trace Goodman, Sayler Beerwinkle, and Evan Deleon’s hands

In the past, people have also been more than willing to help others in times of need. For instance, when someone’s loved one passes away, other individuals choose to surround them with kindness and absolute care. They help that person to talk about how they are feeling, perhaps push them to go to therapy and get a therapist’s help coping with such loss, and are there for moral support when that person needs to cry and talk to someone. People can be seen bringing food, money, and general commodities to those who have lost a loved one. A love from outsiders forms around these families and individuals. In a time where all love and compassion for others seems to be lost, people surround others with kindness in their hearts when they are going through a struggle. Much like this, people take a stand to find someone else’s missing loved one. A lot of the time, people will give up everything to find another person’s missing child because they know how they would feel if it were their own child that went missing and how they would want others to react to such news. For example, a horrific and life-altering movie that has demonstrated this kind of care for others was “Amber Alert” that came out in 2012. The movie featured two best friends following a car that was suspected to have a missing child in it. After several attempts to save the child that was inside the car, the two best friends end up breaking in to the kidnapper’s home to retrieve the child and bring her to safety. However, in the process of saving the child, the two best friends lost their lives, but not before shooting the kidnapper. The little girl was returned to her family physically unharmed, but those two individuals who had desperately tried to save her lost their lives doing so. They didn’t get to go home to their families and left them to mourn the death of the two brave individuals. Even though that they knew the risks in trying to save the little girl, they did it anyways to make sure a mom and dad didn’t have to say goodbye to their child. The movie was based on a true story, and it perfectly demonstrates how someone is willing to risk it all for others who critically need their help. Another fine example of this is EMT’s, police officers, firefighters, and soldiers who put their lives on the line every day to protect people, even those they might not know or those who they have complicated relationships with. Despite this, those first responders and defenders of this country put their differences aside to help any and all individuals who need it. Day or night, these individuals put their life on the line, and more often than not, they end up paying the ultimate price for their bravery. Yet, they do it out of the compassion they have within their hearts and the respect they hold for humanity. It allows others to remain in their homes with their families and friends while those first responders and soldiers are risking their lives to see that they get to remain doing that. Even the most precious things, such as life, people are willing to give up for others.  

At the end of the day, all Americans have are each other.  

Most commonly, Americans are seen helping others in times where tragedy strikes this great nation. For instance, a school shooting that is all too familiar to many Coloradans is the Columbine shooting that took place in April of 1999. Two students that attended the Colorado high school began shooting people at the school, and then they detonated several of the numerous bombs found on campus. This resulted in the death and injury of many people including students, teachers, and other staff members. The Columbine shooting is remembered as a very grim and unforgettable time in history that not only impacted Coloradans but the entire nation. The entire nation felt the pain for those families who lost their children. They felt the pain of students who had lost their friends and mentors. They felt the pain when students had to walk the same halls again. More recently, a New York native Gabby Petito came up missing after traveling with her fiancé Brian Laundrie across the states for several months. What seemed to be the normal story of a young female going missing turned into a nationwide case. People from across the nation was giving up their time and dedication to find the 22-year-old and bring her home to her family.  Social media and the internet became the source in which people used to find recourses, information, and evidence relating to the case. Former FBI agents added their knowledge and expertise to the situation. Everyone in the United States was looking for Gabby Petito, and thanks to the help of average civilians and citizens, she was found. It wasn’t in the way that many had hoped to find her, but her remains were discovered, allowing the family to have one final goodbye and have a sense of closure. Even after the discovery of her remains, Americans still itched to know what had happened to Gabby. They searched high and low, analyzing every little detail in social media posts, Brain Laundries’ movements and actions, and things that seemed to be out of the ordinary. Today, people across the nation are still looking and searching for answers, proving how dedicated Americans can be in times of tragedy. 

Despite all of the differences existing between individuals, people have put those aside to come together as Americans, help each other in the toughest of times, and help one another when tragedy strikes. Religions, beliefs, morals, and race was never a factor. True Americans are those that can set aside any differences they may have and acknowledge the person for who they are. It’s not about what someone looks like, where they’re from, or what they believe in or support; it’s all about seeing people for who they are and looking at them as a person, as a human being. Through all the moments in time where people have done that, it truly restores faith and hope in humanity. People need to come to terms with the fact that everyone is just a human being trying to survive in the same world as they are, and at the end of the day, all Americans have are each other.