Where is the Love? Finding Joy in Unlikely Places

Njeri Kamenwa

Positivity. It’s something that the world needs now more than ever. More accurately, the world needs to see more positivity now than ever. You watch the news on TV every night, and every single time, it’s about the negative things happening around the world. It can have a horrible effect on our mental health. But only we can control the amount of information we choose to take in. After all, we can only take in so much negativity before we break down.

An example of alarming news is the two earthquakes that occurred in Turkey and Syria within three weeks. The first happened on Monday, February 6, and the second on Tuesday, February 21. The news showed grappling footage of rescuers scrambling to find survivors. In an interview with BBC, a woman recalls 11 lost bodies. “Rescuers came and took pictures of the building where they believed 11 people were trapped, but they didn’t return. She said they heard voices for hours, but then there was silence.” the article stated. However, we can donate our time and materials to the relief efforts. At the time of publication, the ERHS Red Cross Club had a fundraiser from Monday, February 13, to Monday, February 27, asking the school to donate materials to those affected by the earthquakes.

Another subject that’s been conquering the news is the dangers of fentanyl. The Drug Enforcement Administration describes this drug as “50-100 times stronger than morphine.” Recently, fentanyl-related overdoses have spiked across the country. Since fentanyl and another drug, heroin, look very similar, sellers disguise the former as “highly potent heroin.” Therefore, when users think they purchased heroin, they actually purchased fentanyl, resulting in overdose deaths. Knowing is half the battle, so learning about the risks of taking unprescribed drugs and sharing that information with others is vital. At the time of publication, PGCPS had two community meetings planned to educate the community about the issue, the first on February 27th and the second on March 13th. The events aim to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl and arm people with knowledge about how to prevent overdoses.

Despite all the negativity, we see in all the news outlets, we can find good news in unlikely places—even in our communities! On Sunday, February 12, a class of 2012 graduate from Dr. Henry A Wise Jr. High School named Zach Pascal played as the wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl LVII. Even though his team didn’t win, he achieved his lifelong dream, and Prince George’s County is very proud of him.

And even though all may seem lost, we can still find time to come together and have fun. On Friday, February 17, everyone who made the honor roll at Eleanor Roosevelt was welcome to watch and participate in a Karaoke Battle in the auditorium. Grades 12 and 11 went during the second period, and Grades 10 and 9 went during the eighth period. Not only did we hear some incredible talent, but we also got to spend quality time with our friends.

Although the news displays things that can make us feel disheartened and hopeless about the future, we can always find things to feel optimistic about from where we are. Whether we’re doing something for others or others are doing something for us, positivity can sprout itself in unimaginable ways.