Today I’ll like to share some quotes from one of my role models, Greg Mortenson. He is the co-founder and former executive director of the Central Asia Institute, which builds schools for children (especially girls) in Pakistan and its neighboring countries.
Really, what education does is it gives opportunity, but it also gives hope.
I say if you fight terrorism, it’s based on fear, but if you promote peace, it’s based on hope.
I am a huge advocate of education for all children in the world. I believe that education could be part of the key to solving poverty and terrorism. I’ve also participated in a speech competition with this topic on UN Day in Korea as a finalist. For those interested in reading my thoughts about education and terrorism, read the speech below.
Dear Honorable UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon,
Considering the recent global issue of ISIS, I, including millions of high school students not only in my country but all around the world, have been aware of the major problem that is labeled as “terrorism.” From the news, we have heard about people around our age who join this violent force and the slaughter of millions. However, this problem is not limited to Islamic extremism. Terrorism is an issue that transcends time periods and concerns human rights.
I believe that in order to solve terrorism, instead of eliminating major terrorists one by one, we should dig out the root of the problem. I declare that lack of education is one of the major causes of terrorism. Young people who are vulnerable to the temptation of joining terrorist forces should be taught that there is a better way to commit themselves to the world, that there is a better way for them to have their voices heard. The following is a quote from Greg Mortenson, the co-founder of the Central Asia Institute, a non-profit organization that builds schools for children in Central Asia. “If we try to resolve terrorism with military might and nothing else, then we will be no safer than we were before 9/11. If we truly want a legacy of peace for our children, we need to understand that this is a war that will ultimately be won with books, not with bombs.”
In order to put this into effect, first, we should reach out a hand to the people around our age that cannot be reached. The UN should install a communication program for students around the world, including the poorest corners of Earth, to be able to share their thoughts and ideas with each other and be heard. Since young people will be allowed to broaden their thinking and develop their own perspectives, this is a valuable education method.
Second, the UN should generously support and fund non-profit organizations that work to provide education to children in under-developed countries. There should be more schools built and teachers hired in order to create a learning environment for them.
Last but not least, ethics should be a must in the educational curriculum. Children everywhere should learn about human rights and develop moral reasoning. Then they will fully comprehend the consequences of terrorism.
I know that I am one voice in millions. But as one of the thousands that understand the gravity of terrorism, I raise my voice today in the hopes that it will be heard and the UN will put more interest in providing education to fight terrorism. This may be a drop in the ocean, as the quote goes, but one day the ocean will be big enough to bring peace on Earth.
A High School Student in the Fight for Peace
Note to readers: I know that some of you might go Google up Greg Mortenson. I was introduced to him when I read the amazing book “Three Cups of Tea,” and he became my hero when I was young. However, it was only later when my reverence towards him somewhat crashed because of his scandals with using money from CAI for private issues and the alleged lies in some of his books. Well, having a role model doesn’t mean I want to be exactly like him. He still had dedication and motive during the start and that’s what I would like to learn from him. I promise that I won’t go in the wrong direction as he supposedly did.