Sitting there under the oak tree, I could still feel the warmth of the evening sun. The taste of summer was on my lips and the sounds of nature were around me. There before my eyes was the most beautiful thing in the world, a summer sunset. For those moments, I thought about the beauty of this world. The love, the life, the happiness - they are all things that humans can't live without. However, this moment of peace could only be a dream, because things like this just don't matter to people anymore. We look right past the natural beauty and turn the world into a place of fear and pollution.
When I look at the world, I see a beautiful place that has been taken for granted. Each day, more and more pollutants are introduced into the world (cars, factories and litter are only a few). Nature is weak and needs help surviving. Unfortunately, instead of helping, we pursue our own selfish needs.
Cutting down one tree isn't that bad, but cutting down an entire forest can do damage. Not only are we destroying animal habitats, but we are hurting ourselves by taking away a source of oxygen and allowing toxins into the air. This is just a small example, but because we lack compassion toward the environment, our atmosphere is full of poisons that may eventually kill us.
So why don't people care more about the planet when their life is at risk? Looking at our society, we don't even show each other the respect we should. Drugs, murder, war and disease are everywhere. The news is filled with so many of these obstacles that they've just become ordinary for us. People need to look beyond all the bad and see what we can do to improve our future.
Beyond all the darkness, I still see a light of hope. I don't think I'm alone in hoping that little by little, our world can become a better place. The answer, I believe, is in our families. Children need good models to teach them morals and values, showing them right from wrong. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to keep them away from negative influences such as TV shows that promote violence. If we keep our children in mind before acting in questionable ways, it may impact adults too and help them realize their faults. My dream could become a reality where everyone feels peace and appreciates something as beautiful and pure as a sunset. But for now, I can only hope that we change things, one step at a time.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.