Band-Aid

SEIKA GHAVIDEL (GRADE 11)

There is no denying it. Band-aids are awfully useful creations of man. Appropriate for a multitude of different purposes, they find themselves in the medicinal section of Target, the back cupboard in your kitchen, and now over the very liberal, very democratic minds of the majority of Newton High schoolers.

The Band-aid business in general however only extends to those who are minorly and temporarily wounded. Flu shot? Band-aid. Blister? Band-aid. Paper cut? Band-aid. Bullet wound? Not Band-aid. Of course the moment Donald Trump won the presidency there was no spike in the death of progressive high schoolers, but political standing aside, it was obvious to anyone that much of the student population was greatly disheartened.

Seeing this, Newton North offered an orange and black colored band-aid. “Wear tiger pride clothing tomorrow to show unity!” Maybe if the student population were temporarily wounded a band-aid would be appropriate. But this injury will last four years. And maybe if the students weren’t majorly wounded, the band-aid would be at the very least helpful. But students are deeply hurt on a fundamental level.

This election was different than past ones for a great number of reasons, but mainly because never had there been such a prominent factor of fear. Fear in itself is a dangerous thing, so it should be taken in small doses and with caution. Both sides of the spectrum however had more than their fair share. For some Trump supporters, their fear made their choice for them. Fear of no change, fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims, etc. And although Hillary Clinton never used fear as a deciding point in her campaign, the majority of her voters felt that same overpowering fear post election. Fear of getting deported, fear of losing reproductive rights, fear of being discriminated against, etc.

Just as everyone is entitled to their own opinions, in a sense people are even more entitled to their own emotions. Unlike opinions which are carefully formed, questioned, and shaped over time, emotions are uncontrollable feelings that are much less rational than the latter. Therefore it is not only wrong, but unrealistic to try and make someone feel a certain emotion or way when they just might as well feel the opposite.

It is the same as telling a clinically depressed person to simply be happy. Or telling someone in a toxic relationship to fall out of love with their partner. And in this case, telling a minority who is genuinely worried for their safety and wellbeing to wear some $10 Newton North merchandise and feel better.

The intent was good. Perhaps in wearing school clothing, we would be able to overcome our differences and form a sense of solidarity. Perhaps in putting a band-aid over the bullet-hole, we could avoid going to the doctor. And perhaps in avoiding the issue, we would never have to address it at all.

But this is not the case. Simply by virtue that band-aids cannot and will not ever be able to fix bullet-holes. By trying to force a small, plastic covering over a bleeding wound, it reveals a greater issue. That instead of giving time for the bleeding to stop, our school is trying to quickly cover the mess as so not to deal with it. And this should not be the way we address problems ever.

It is not to say that we will never be able to unify together as a school, or that now we can never be truly happy without making others feel miserable, but it is only proper to give time to heal. To give those mourning a loss time to accept. And to let those who are scared in any way time to feel and express their emotions. It is only that way that we as a student body can truly form that so sought after sense of togetherness.

Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes. Band-aids weren’t meant to fix bullet holes. And if pop singer-songwriter Taylor Swift is able to recognize that, it shouldn’t be that difficult for a group of educated high schoolers and adults either.

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