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And so I Did By Lia Cari Manalo, Robyn Lianne Polancos, and Maria Victoria Gacosta The world is a battlefield. And right now, I’m at my losing end. I’m standing on the edge of a building that’s a hundred floors high. I slightly squint my left eye to look down; I see streets bustling with cars, buses, motorcycles… all waiting to pulverize my bones and crush my organs. With just a slight tilt of weight, a trick of gravity, a whisper of the wind, I could fall. And so I did. The world is a battlefield set on the skyscrapers of the universe. There’s nowhere to go but down, deep in the vast and empty darkness. And every move could change your life. Through every move, you may kill . . . or you may die. And so kill I did. In our world, we are made to live as if we are all interconnected by invisible threads. Every single action, no matter how light a push or a pull may be, may affect somebody else. These moves send vibrations through the strings that bind us together. So if each blink of an eye, click of the tongue and pump of the heart could affect something, then we, humans, must be super . . . Superheroes? Although, in a world cursed, destined and blessed with countless choices, there is a possibility of also being even more super . . . super villain. We are warriors fighting our daily ice queens, evil witches, creatures lurking in the dark, monsters in our closets. We are one team bound by destiny, born to face the unexpected for and with each other; however, in this wild tale we call life, we have slowly evolved to be against each other. A seemingly small act of heartlessness can let the strings of fate get tangled with knots, causing us to stay behind our limits. This crooked arrangement has caused tragedies of all sorts. Approximately 160,000 teens skip school because of bullying. Sixty-one percent of students said students shoot others because they have been victims of physical abuse at home. Seventy-one percent of students report bullying as a problem in their school. A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying.

Bullying is a proof that numbers are indeed, limitless. But then again, these are just numbers, mere representations of what happens when sides turn their backs against each other. What matters more than that is the power packed in the punch. What keeps these bruises coming and bones breaking? What could be more earsplitting than ruthless nicknames, words like knives, and malicious rumors? Why do hearts break, and confidence levels lower? How can hate and discrimination be chained and locked down within the power of ‘http’, colons, back slashes, 3 w’s and a dot? It’s distressing to think of how a million catastrophes can come together at the sight of just one word, at the sense of just one action. If self-control was nonexistent, then it would only take a spark or even a slight thought of revenge to make all of these possibilities happen. It could also be caused by the biggest issues, from one’s past, all the flaws and insecurities, to the smallest unachieved necessities. Just like people, all of these things are also tied together in some way. One of the greatest questions would be, what could be the worst that could happen? Death, without a doubt. But in this world, we aren’t made to be destructive; again, we are blessed with the gift of choices. We can choose to belittle ourselves, engulf ourselves within the thought that bullies are just so full of themselves, that they are and they can suck out all the power inside of us, and they can always have the upper hand. We can wallow in the pain of injustice, and staying in the underdog zone. But that isn’t where we are meant to be. Some would want to fight back - to bring out the fire in themselves, show these giants that they are stronger, and give them a taste of what a real fighter is. The sad truth about this though, is that other than being able to stop the bully, they are taking its form too. They choose to embody what is wrong, and what they know would cause pain to others. The best way to fight back is to not fight back at all. By this, meaning, to let peace stir within yourself, so that it may flow into our interconnected strings and into others. Meaning, to show what’s right, to initiate the blaze of change, to straighten the path beforehand, to live for others so that we may all live with each other. The world is a battlefield. And right now, I’m standing on top of it, looking down on all that’s happening – the chaos, the murder, the injustice, the pain. And then, a spark. So, I back down, and stand in the center, and I think to myself, “I have a choice. I have choice to make a change because I’m one, and I can make the world one.” And so change I did.

Entry #7 - And So I Did  

by Lia Manalo, Robyn Polancos & Victoria Gacosta Colegio San Agustin