What’s wrong with the world…and what needs to change in 2019

Jan. 18, 2019




By Nicolle Tyszka
Staff Writer

The month of January is often associated with a fresh start and positive changes. While 2018 included a great deal of heartbreaking and disturbing news, there are changes that I envision for a better and brighter 2019.

One of the most upsetting political issues of 2018 was the “zero-tolerance policy,” which was implemented in April and suspended in June. This policy led federal authorities to separate children from their parents, relatives and any other adults that accompanied them in crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

This was a serious problem because family separation leads to trauma and psychological damage.

Long after the “zero-tolerance policy” formally ended, children still had not been unified with their families. Spending the festive season in isolation and struggling with feelings of abandonment is no way to spend a holiday. My hope for 2019 is that each and every child be reunited with his or her family next December and that no other families are separated in 2019.

Continuing on the topic of politics, it is well-known that President Donald Trump has very little concern for the environment. Having denied climate change, he does not acknowledge the devastating effects it can have on the economy, wildlife and natural resources. In 2019, it is also my hope that the United States takes action to preserve the environment before more irreversible consequences occur.

I also hope for a year without mass school shootings. In 2017, there were 65 reported shootings on school campuses, according to ABC News. According to the BBC, there were 94 gun incidents in schools in 2018. The shocking increase of violence in learning facilities where students are supposed to better themselves and build their futures is astonishing.

The thought of innocent and passionate students full of dreams and aspirations being meaninglessly killed is incredibly heart-wrenching.

I also hope for a year in which school shooters receive the punishment they deserve and are not glorified in the media for their wrongdoings.

Teenage smoking rates declined to the lowest they have been and many were quitting the bad habit, but 2018 brought a new threat to the health of young people. Over the course of 2018, people traded in a harmful smoking habit with another; they replaced cigarettes with e-cigarettes. I want to see nicotine addictions cease in 2019, so leave the vapes and cigarettes behind.

The U.S. faced many struggles in 2018, but I am hopeful that by aligning actions with the values of kindness, sensitivity, empathy, health and well-being, this country will see much-needed improvement.

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