Open Your Eyes and your Heart This New Year

Why Wait? Blanchet Students are Passionate Individuals, and together we can make a huge difference in our world

Nicole Needham, Reporter

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The new year is full of opportunity, most importantly the opportunity to become a better person. At Bishop Blanchet everyone is taught to treat everyone as equal and to set an example which people should want to follow.

Seattle has been struggling with a massive homelessness epidemic. It has left thousands without basic necessities such as water, a home and money. As this problem continues to grow, more people suffer and the amount of trash filling the city is noticeable almost everywhere. This new year it’s vital to be actively conscious of this; to gain empathy for the individuals and take steps like donating, picking up trash and trying to understand what life is like for them everyday. Now is the time to act, problems don’t fix themselves.

Here at Bishop Blanchet, there are many opportunities to change this view of people who are homeless. One of the biggest excursions which relates to this issue is the Brave Plunge which allows sophomores to literally put themselves in the perspective of the homeless. They sleep in a shelter, make sandwiches for the people who are homeless and spend the day putting themselves in the daily routine of the individuals. This experience is meant to deepen the students empathy for the underprivileged. .

One senior who was greatly affected by this trip was Maria Gleason. It’s an extremely powerful experience that can change your views about the world and about yourself.

“It was a huge wake up call for me,’’ said Gleason. “After we got home, I cried realizing how blessed I am to have the simple things I take for granted like water, food and a warm home.”

It’s easy to just expect these basic commodities, it’s much harder to understand that they’re privileges, not rights. Students here are extremely privileged to go to such a good school, to get proper education, to have homes and people who love us. It’s easy to take this for granted. You have to broaden your horizons and do some deep thinking about how much less fortunate a lot of people in this world are. Just realizing this fact does more than you know. This problem cannot be forgotten because it will only get worse. Educate yourself and as many other people as possible. Doing anything to help shows you care and that you want to make a change and that means something. Give a dollar to someone in need, donate to local homeless charities and shelters, hand out food or water, bring old blankets and warm clothes which no longer serve use and hand them out to people you see in the street and even just having a conversation with them to show that they are not alone. It’s important for them to know they haven’t been forgotten; and there are still people who have hope in them.

Not only can one give back to people this holiday season, but to our planet as well. Seeing all the students around the world take an active role in the fight for the environment is extremely inspiring. It’s up to the youth to save the Earth; that’s a lot of pressure to put on the shoulders of children. It may be difficult to know where to even start when it comes to making a change. The most important fact to remember is that the small deeds add up. Taking time to pick up garbage you seen on the side of roads, properly recycling and composting, and being mindful of what you purchase are all simple tasks that could end up saving the world. Senior Addie Ludden, feels passionately about this cause and attempts to live her life as environmentally friendly as possible.

“Seattle is full of unwanted trash that makes our city look filthy,” said Ludden, “if we all put in a little more effort to clean up and not pollute, it would make a drastic difference.”

To be able to make real change, we must work together. It’s dependent on effort from everyone because we are all living in the same city. This is our home and everyone should respect it. Christmas is about giving. The Earth has given us all so much, it’s time to give a little back.

A huge way to help the environment is reducing ones consumerism. Fast fashion and mass production is engulfing our society. It’s filling our world with a multitude of unnecessary, cheap products which are used or worn only a handful of times before being tossed away. Maria Gleason is a model figure of environmentally friendly consuming. She and her mother go weekly to consignment stores to find goods which have been pre-loved and are unique.

“Not only are we recycling products instead of purchasing wasteful new ones,” said Gleason, “but they are so much more special, there’s always a mysterious story behind items which creates a sense of excitement”. Contributing to environmental efforts in this way is also good for developing your individuality. It’s important to celebrate differences and make an effort to inspire others to do the same.

This New Year is a time to change old habits, improve your empathy and morality, and be a conscious neighbor to all. To recognize when others need help and to recognize the measures we need to take to create a stable, healthy environment for all citizens to enjoy. Blanchet students are urged to take part in the mission leading us to a more kind, giving world where we work together for the benefit of all instead of the benefit of the individual.