by Alec Perez ’15
[This is part three in a series of 10 pieces of student writing about the Inly Middle School’s experience at Montessori Model United Nations in New York City.]
I guess you could say I’m your typical teenage boy. I like video games, I love sports, and all I want in life right now is to have fun. But despite this, there is one thing that may push me out from the crowd of most teenage boys. I enjoy global politics. I like to get immersed in the world, figure out how specific countries or governments are behaving, learn about how the economy is holding up, and examine what specific problems we are facing as a species. I love analyzing these things that make us human, that make us truly us. Above all, I love seeing how human nature plays into life all around us.
“But why?” one might ask, “Why would a boy as young as you even remotely care about something that the adults in your life seem to be taking care of?”
Well, it’s simple really. The adults in my life aren’t taking care of it. I don’t mean that as a blow to adults. I’m not trying to make a statement, and no, that’s not me being a teenager and being “emotionally unstable at this time in my life,” or anything like that. It’s simply a fact. Sure, some adults in my life are doing their part, but for the world to grow into the way we want it, it’s going to take more people than we have working on it right now.
So, I intend to be one of those people. I refuse to have the world handed down to my generation in its current condition. At the rate we are going, especially when it comes down to the issue of climate change, by the time the world is handed down to me, I will be left with something two or three times worse than what we started with. And that is not acceptable. You want to know why I am so interested in global politics, why I find it so intriguing? Because I don’t want to hand the world down to my grandchildren in even worse condition that it’s in now.
Of course, there are other reasons I enjoy keeping up with the news. I like observing humans and watching how they behave under different situations, like how a president acts when he is faced with the question of war or peace, and how the public reacts to his decisions. While observing human behavior is enough to keep me interested in the news, it seems easier to get others to rally around the idea of saving humanity.
Some people reading this might have made the connection to the United Nations already (after all, the UN is full of people working hard to make the world a better place). And for me, working to get ready for the Montessori Model United Nations conference was the real reason I first got into these types of global politics. When she was in the eighth grade, my older sister Katie went on this amazing trip to New York City and met with kids from all around the world to solve global issues. Honestly, I was inspired by her stories of the conference. So this year, I decided to join the Inly Model UN team and go on the same trip. It was a lot of hard work, but I got even more tools and information out of the whole experience then I thought.
So now that I’m back, I am faced with two choices. I can either sit back and wait for someone else to come along and save the planet for me and run the risk of watching the tragedy of the commons unfold in front of me. Or, I can step up. I can be the guy who actually lives Gandhi’s advice to “be the change you want to see in the world.” I know I will face hardships and have to climb over my fair share of obstacles on my way to saving the world. But to be honest, I really do think that it’s better than watching the world burn and looking back to see myself do nothing about it.
To sum it all up: I find global politics and world events interesting because I care about what humans as a race are doing, how we are acting, and how we are responding to certain things. I love it because someday I will get to be a major part of it.
For more in this series, check out these links:
“Montessori Model United Nations: In Their Own Words” by Paran Quigley and Jen McGonagle, Inly Middle School Teachers and MMUN Advisors
“Montessori Model United Nations: Work Worth Doing” by Benjamin Bison ’16
“One Delegate, Two Model UN Experiences” by Jonah Lee ’15
“Developing a Global Perspective” by Alec Perez ’15
“Follow the Leader” by Emma Kahn ’15
“Are You My Mentor?” by Alexander deMurias ’15
MMUN Reflection Excerpts by Mia Bilezikian ’15
“When I Grow Up…” by Gaby Munn ’16
“Global Group Dynamics” by Marty Morris ’15
“How It All Stacks Up: MMUN Compared to Other Field Studies” by Justin Cokinos ’16
“New York, Model UN, and Middle Schoolers — What Could Go Wrong?
(Spoiler Alert: Nothing)” by Kathryn Goebel ’15