Jessica: Letter to the Reader

Dear Reader,

You have already taken the first step by opening this rather lengthy selection of articles, but little do you know that once you are done your perspective might just be a bit different. You have taken an interest in something truly remarkable that five other WorldLink interns and myself have been delving into this summer at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. This is a collection of great articles and information not only related to religious intolerance, but also global racism, xenophobia and nationalism, economic development and women derogation and conflicts in our world.

Now the question that is most likely going through your mind right now is, ” Jessica, I am a teenager trying to balance out school papers, sports, the upcoming drama tryouts, oh and lets just add peer pressure and parents who still don’t seem to understand what I am going through. So why again I bother opening this book and reading what YOU worked on?” Well let me tell you, the first step to a more peaceful and stable future not only for us but for the generations after us is education. Education is truly the key to improvement. Instead of spending 30 minutes on Facebook and an hour watching Gossip Girl and Tila Tequila every night, try to find time to learn what is really going on in society and the global community. I am not asking you to stop enjoying being a teenager simply, I am asking you to find time to educate and improve yourself in pertinent topics such as these. This reader is the useful tool for teens to achieve better understanding, and become inspired to make a change.

When I began the research for my topic, religious intolerance, I didn’t know where to go when I began the research for my topic. . It took me over two weeks to comprehend the enormity of my subject. I realized that religions around the world focus on the same main goal, which is peace. Yet it seems that on mainstream news channels and all the commotion going on these days, religion seems like such a derogatory subject. I focused on religious conflicts and how they have affected people in our society. What people seem to not understand is that the problem isn’t the religious idea and theology, but the human involvement, understanding and manipulation within the religious context.

The question now is, “what can we do to make a difference?” The simple answer is to educate yourself and the people around you, for we are the key to our future. Together, let us be the change.

With much love,

Jessica Wilson

La Jolla Country Day School Junior