#MarchForOurLives triggered a flashback.
I remember the mid-morning heat bearing on my face. Never did I think that in my first year of University, I would step out of my sheltered existence and lock arms in protest. Impulse drove my decision to join the protest. Sympathy for those who were vulnerable and victimized drove me to lock arms with fellow students.
We were the future leaders. We refused to wait for adults to make decisions for us. We needed to see change, say we wanted to see a change and seize it.
This past weekend, I was moved at the sight of thousands of young people of all ages decided to speak out for change. It brought tears to my eyes because those scenes flung me back to a time when my colleagues and I were tired of being labeled as “noisy kids” who refused to know their place.
Like the present day, we got mixed reactions from adults. There were some grown-up voices who taunted our actions. We were students first who should have been grateful for the opportunity to have access to education. However, we felt that there was an effort to suppress our level of consciousness. There were other grown-up voices who were sympathetic to our cause. They acknowledged the stress, frustration, and anger.
I saw the sea of faces this past weekend raising their voices for change and recognized the courage in the face of mounting criticism my colleagues and I summoned many years ago.