Try not to look away
Written by Brinley McKee
After reading this particular part of The Book Thief I really had to think back on my past and evaluate myself. How death explains this lonely Jew made me sick thinking about how we do this every day. “A guided tour of suffering, to your left, perhaps your right, perhaps even straight ahead, you find a small black room, in it sits a Jew, he is scum, he is starving, he is afraid, please- try not to look away” (Zusak 138). Why do we always look away from people suffering? Why do we separate them so badly? Why do we torture them like that? They must feel like aliens. Do you think that they do not realize people trying to avoid eye contact? Trust me, they notice. We seem to forget that these people were children. They had a childhood. They had parents and siblings. They went to school. They had dreams. They had hopes. They grew up roughly the same way we did, so why do we treat them so differently because they hold up a sign begging for help? We all have those signs, but yours, Mrs. Payne, and mine as well are not yet visible. We all have the signs of something we need so desperately but were to afraid to ask. And it is not something that we want like a new phone or an A on this paper but it is something that we truly need. That’s why I congratulate the people who are brave enough to hold up that sign for help. I wish I could become that strong. To hold up my sign for the entire world to see what I need. Next time, I will not look away. And if we make eye contact I will somehow help. Whether it is giving them their something they need or just a simple smile letting them know that they are not alien. That we are all the same. I know it is hard to not look away, but as messed up as our world is already, we cannot separate society any more than we already have. Please- Mrs. Payne, I am holding up one of my many signs just to you. Please try not to look away.