There are moments when silence can be more powerful than words. When Rose Hamid stood up during Donald Trump’s campaign, her silent stand was a symbol to the world. She was escorted out as the people around her booed and yelled, “You have a bomb.” Even then, her lips were sealed. She showed the world compassion while she only recieved hate in return.
Silence can be either a vice or a virtue.
It becomes our enemy when fear is the reason. Rose Hamid stood up because she had decided that her silence could speak more than a hundred words. She stood up to show, not tell. To show what? Peace.
Except, situations like these happen every single day. Remember that child in high school that got laughed at? Were you ever in a morally wrong situation where you wanted to say something but couldn’t? Perhaps it was to you, a friend or a significant other. Was there ever a moment when you were too afraid to speak, to say what you were really thinking, to say what you truly believed in?
A professor once asked the class, as he slammed his book against the desk, “Why do you not fight for what you believe in?” He told us prior, there was a protest in his home country against a new passed legislation. His now wife, was in the crowd and as the police came she stood there as they knocked her to the ground, at a peaceful protest.
When the Arab spring began, Egypt would of became another Syria if their leader, Hosni Mubarak had not resigned, ultimately saving their country. But the Egyptians, regardless of the oppression, pain and death, went out to Tahrir Square every day demanding Mubarak to step down. Hope is stronger than fear, and that is when faith becomes worth dying for.
Yet, my country being a melting pot of different cultures lacks unity and an identity. There has only been one time in my life I witnessed both of these, 9/11. On that day, everyone had something to identify with. Nobody cared about where you came from, what color you were or what kind of life you lived. In that moment, everyone was just human and we all shared the same belief, that this was wrong.
But this newborn passion was fleeting because here we are, dealing with racism, sexism, Islamaphobia, extraneous income disparities, animal cruelty and again there is silence. Of course there are the few organizations that exists, or sometimes you see the same couple of college students with clipboards trying to get a few people to sign petitions. Except why is it that only woman can be feminists. Why are the majority of those standing up against Islamaphobia, Islamists themselves. WHY is it mostly just vegetarians that fight against animal cruelty?
Where are the people, as a community gathering to reminisce about common beliefs? Are we so selfish, self-centered to only fight when it affects our individual well being? When will we stand together to fight these issues. Where is the passion?
So as my Dad watches TV and complains about U.S politics and the economy, I ask him “What are you doing to make this a better country?” Because the TV isn’t going anywhere.