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Braden Bell emphasizes value of listening to peers, encouraging others

Avery Jones | The Feather Online

It is important to build up those around us instead of breaking them down for having a different opinion. We are stronger together.

It is no question that one person can change the world.

Anne Frank
Keith Green
Malala Yousafzai
Kaitlin Riffel, founder of Kids On A Mission
Martin Luther King Jr.
Gretta Thunberg
Bob Goff

Something that is similar between all of these individuals is that they have all played a significant role in making a change in their community. These changes are seen on both large and small scales.

Relatively young people like Martin Luther King Jr., and his role in advancing civil rights in America, or Kaitlin Riffel, a local Fresno student who founded Kids on a Mission, took on something greater than themselves after noticing a need.

Students have the ability to impact their campus, community and country. Over the past year, the world has watched as young activists take charge and address nationwide issues such as climate change, gun control and free speech.

However, change often begins with a lack of support or commitment from others. Rather than lending help or verbal reinforcement, peers and adults may have a differing opinion or may be defensive against an action that is unusual or requires change.

As a result, student or adult activists are pushed away, isolated and sometimes bullied because they are straying from the norm. People get scared when things change or go in a different way than expected.

Megan LeBlanc | The Feather Online

Senior Braden Bell serves as the 2019-’20 student body president.

I would like to encourage people to listen to their peers and step out of their comfort zone.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Even though we may not always agree with activism, it’s important to listen to it because we may even learn something. While passionate people’s issues may make us feel uncomfortable, it is important to build up those around us instead of breaking them down for having a different opinion on an important issue.

We have to remember that we are all human and we all deal with the same desires and struggles. Whether it be a sense of belonging, loneliness, or even the desire to be loved, we are all created the same and share common human characteristics.

Consider the cause or issue. Is its leader in it for their own selfish gain or does it resonate with others, stirring up positive change and benefiting the larger community?

The following tweet features the FCS canned food drive, one way for students to give back to their community.

One campus student with a passion is Hannah Garcia, ’20, who started a campus serve club. Garcia hopes to get everyone involved and give back to not only the school but also the local community. One way to support an advocate for change is getting involved in the club. Another possibility is by supporting Samaritan’s Purse by packing a Operation Christmas Child box.

Ultimately, you decide how to live your life, will it be one of purpose?

For Braden Bell’s last piece, check out COLUMN: President strives for inclusivity.

For more articles, read Central Valley residents battle air quality, resist climate change or Kabab City opens fourth location, offers unique menu items. 

Braden Bell can be reached via email: Braden BellInstagram and Twitter.

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