Bear Witness

An unclear divide

When teens can't help directly, #thoughtsandprayers will do

Julia Bozzo/Special to Bear Witness

Julia Bozzo/Special to Bear Witness

Julia Bozzo/Special to Bear Witness

Jocelyn Pierce, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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“#PrayForVegas.” “#PrayForPuertoRico.” “#PrayForHouston.” Just a few words, with so many good intentions behind them. Sure, it’s not a $1,000,000 donation, but it’s a start.

Thoughts and prayers are a sign of support. They show solidarity. They show sympathy. They show unity. They show the victims that they are not alone, that other people are hoping for their recovery as much as they are.

Support is the smallest form of an action attainable in some situations. We can’t all be first responders, like the firefighters battling the California wildfires. We can’t all vote to change laws, like gun control restrictions in the wake of the Las Vegas attack. We can’t all donate large sums of money, like those donating to the American Red Cross to support hurricane relief efforts in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

Especially for us teenagers, what more can we do in times of such helplessness? We don’t have the freedom to fly to every location of tragedy and start helping. We don’t have the financial security to give our entire college fund to the victims. No matter how much we want to help, big movements aren’t always within our capability.

Not all impacts can be seen. In places where all optimism is lost, where all hope has been devastated, a few words of encouragement can do wonders. They’re motivation. They’re fondness. They’re love.

That being said, offering support is not the only step. That kind tweet isn’t going to rebuild a house. That thoughtful Instagram isn’t going to restore someone’s finances. That trending hashtag isn’t going to bring anyone back to life.

So, are thoughts and prayers a solution? No. But, are they a start? Absolutely.

That kind tweet might have caught the attention of a government official who can make a difference. That thoughtful Instagram might have just inspired someone to donate money. That trending hashtag might have drawn thousands and thousands of people to unite under one common cause: to provide humanity in a time of tragedy.


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An unclear divide