After reading the harsh words directed to protesting students (Letter to Editor March 1), I felt compelled to offer Ms. Denisa Villanueva, Mr. Jesus Tovar and fellow Lehman students an alternative message. To those students: Thank You! Thank you for having the courage to stand up for what you believe is right and taking peaceful action so that your voices were heard. Peaceful protest is an effectual agent of social change and is also an incredibly rich learning experience. It prompts participants to get clear on current issues and their own ideas, have dialogue with each other and engage the world in a meaningful manner. I am sure all of you who participated learned a great deal from the experience. Some of the most significant education occurs outside the walls of the classroom.
I am extremely grateful to live in a community with young people like you, who care about the world and engage it by taking action rather than by being passive observers. With all the humanitarian, environmental and social challenges in the world today, we need people who care and are willing to work for solutions. We need the courageous! Seeing all of you take initiative and getting involved gives me hope for the future. Ms. Villanueva, Mr. Tovar and fellow Lobos, please, please, never stop raising your voices! Whatever your cause, whatever your beliefs, this is your world too and you need to help shape it. Continue to empower and educate yourselves and serve as inspiration to others. Don’t be discouraged by criticism or condemnation. Use it to find deeper inner resolve and strength. You are the future of this world, and we need people like you who are willing and have the courage and wisdom to work toward positive, peaceful solutions for everyone and the planet as a whole.
In love & service,