Martin Luther King once said, “We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.” As we continue to evolve and as our population continues to expand, I believe that this quote remains as true as ever.
In a world with seven billion people who speak more than 6,000 languages, the concept of unity has been hard to grasp.
Our teacher thought of the theme “We Are One” for TEDxYouth@EISJ, our TEDxYouthDay event. Our teacher felt that we needed to embrace our togetherness. But I’ll admit that while I was eager to participate in an event that allowed my opinions to be voiced, the idea of unity never occurred to me as anything of serious importance.
However, as the weeks progressed, our group of students began to work closely with one another. We divided ourselves into various action groups, such as promotion, public relations, stage curation, and so on. Each group assigned a group leader. Over the following weeks, we worked hours on end to make the event the success that it was, with all of us suggesting ideas about how to raise funds, what issues needed to be addressed, and which methods we would use to publicize the event.
Throughout our organizing process, none of us fully acknowledged why we were working with the topic “We Are One.” Before the event, many of us even spoke about the importance of unity and harmony in a society, but I don’t think we actually felt the impact of that concept until the moment the curtains parted and we saw the beaming looks on the faces of our audience and heard the sound of applause. It was then, at the start of our event on November 20th, 2011, that we understood the degree to which we had truly become one in the organization of this event.
Although the event is now over, it is something that I feel blessed to have been a part of. My experiences with TEDxYouth@EISJ are playing a huge role in the person that I want to become. The event allowed me to realize that I want to be a voice for future generations, and that I want to make change in the society that we live in. This does not mean that I’m going to change the world overnight, but the lessons learned through the event allowed me to see that I need to start with small steps in order to one day take a giant leap.
TEDxYouth@EISJ was an incredible journey — something so much bigger than us.
Written by Wafa Junaid, an official TEDxYouth@EISJ reporter.