www.whyville.net Apr 13, 2008 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

We are the World . . . We are the Future . . .

Users' Rating
Rate this article

Last Friday, Whyville was graced with a visit from not only our online partners, Global Kids, but also the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You might laugh at his name, but he has changed the world and conquered problems that you wouldn't even consider smiling at.

The National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) recently met in Minneapolis for the 19th Annual Service-Learning Conference. They discussed how the youth of the world can change the world and eradicate problems facing us today. One of their keynote speakers was Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Archbishop Tutu, a powerful leader in the Anglican Church or South Africa, has devoted his life to ending social problems facing his native South Africa. Tutu's greatest achievement yet has been to destroy a terrible political system called apartheid created by the government in South Africa during the 1940s. Bluntly, apartheid was legal racism. Specifically, it was a system of segregation and discrimination against natives of South Africa. Tutu spent years tirelessly working to tear down this cruel program. In 1984 he was recognized for his efforts and rewarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Ten years later, apartheid was ended in his home country.

After the end of apartheid, the Archbishop continued to serve his country and the world. He was appointed the chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by Nelson Mandela in 1996. In this position, he tried to bring justice to the South Africans who had been denied their rights during the years of apartheid. Although he still holds this position, Tutu now travels the world speaking out for social justice and human rights. And that is exactly what he did in Whyville last week.

On Friday, a few lucky citizens gathered in the Greek Theater to hear Archbishop Tutu's speech. We were fortunate enough to either not have school or be home sick for the day. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to witness this exciting event. Eventually, two people from Global Kids arrived. They asked us questions about how much we already knew about the Archbishop. None of us knew very much, so they told us about the NYLC and what the Archbishop had done. We were all impressed with him and impatient to hear his speech.

Finally, the Archbishop's voice began being broadcast. Although his accent was hard to understand, it was clear that he was encouraging the youth of the world to take problems into their own hands and do something to change the world. He used the analogy of Mary being asked to give birth to Jesus. She may not have wanted the responsibility, but she took on the challenge and changed the world. His speech may have been difficult to understand, but it was inspiring at the very least.

After he was done, the guys from Global Kids asked us some more questions about how we could change the world. We were all eager to give our ideas and opinions and maybe even have them put on the screen in the middle of the stage. Everyone had an idea or suggestion for how youth could change the world. The coolest part is that the leaders of the NYLC knew that we had listened to Tutu's speech and were discussing it! We were able to show them that there are really kids willing to make sacrifices in order to change the world. Finally, we all gave a big shout out to the Archbishop.

Overall, it was an inspiring hour. Not to mention how unforgettable it was to be able to listen to Desmond Tutu speak, live. However, this event will mean nothing if we don't do something. There are lots of problems out there and we can all do something to make a difference. We are the ones who will inherit this earth and our children after that. Do we really want a broken and shattered world to be the legacy we leave behind? I think that iloveuido captured this feeling all in one quotation. "WE ARE THE WORLD . . . WE ARE THE FUTURE . . ." Think about that . . . make a difference . . . change the world.



Did you like this article?
1 Star = Bleh.5 Stars = Props!
Rate it!
Ymail this article to a friend.
Discuss this article in the Forums.

  Back to front page