We are very happy to welcome the voice of student Anmol Sandhu to the Facing History and Ourselves Ontario Network blog this week as she reflects on the power of choosing to participate.
The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. – Albert Einstein
There are a lot of things big and small that happen every day in the world that we do not pay attention to because we feel as though they are not important. This happens today, just as it has happened throughout history. And it used to happen to me.
It affected not only our community as a whole, but each and every individual in it. My classmates and I first saw the flyer after our Facing History teacher, Lanny Cedrone, brought it in. When he held it up, our classroom went completely quiet. We could hear a pin drop. What shocked us was the fact that things like this still happen, in 2014, in such a diverse country. None of it made any sense to us, but one thing was for sure: We wanted to represent Brampton through our own eyes.
As a class, we decided to create a counter-flyer that would allow us to show off the diversity of our community – something in which we all feel a lot of pride. Working together, we made a blueprint of what we wanted the flyer to look like. From there, we went straight to work, asking other classes to come take a picture with us that would portray Brampton and all of its many faces.
We hoped the finished product would help spread our message of inclusiveness and acceptance. To us, this flyer was not just some piece of paper. It was our hard work and our thoughts. It did not just belong to one person, but to everyone. To me, that was one of the best things that came out of doing this flyer. Our flyer may have had a strong message, but the flyer itself carried something even more. If we could all work together, being different and so diverse, then how were we still seeing such discrimination in the world?
We continued on with the plan and distributed copies of the flyer in downtown Brampton. The friendly people we met along the way and the smiling faces who supported us are things we will never forget. It really showed me how such a small act can leave the biggest of impacts.
Every day something difficult happens that tests who we are as individuals. Frankly, it is pretty hard to stand up and do the right thing every single time, but being aware of an issue is a start. Working together, making a difference in our community and creating the flyer not only taught me that I have a voice and can do something, it taught me that I have to do something. Through this experience, I learned valuable lessons about the importance of our actions, the value of collaboration, and the big difference that small actions can make.
Anmol Sandhu is a student at Louise Arbour Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. She is an enthusiastic individual that is always looking to do be involved. She believes that her actions help her explain and understand exactly who she is.