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We Can Change The World

9/11 ceremony

Staff Writers

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 When hearing that Mr. Randy Ruff was the keynote speaker for this years annual 9/11 memorial ceremony, I knew it was going to be capitivating. I am always incredibly intrigued with his way over words for speeches and talks in general. The speech brought forth by Mr. Ruff was not only influential and inspirational but heartfelt as well. It felt as if he was a seeking for a spark of hope within the crowd of the new generation of students, who are held accountable by a tremendous responsibility of saving the world. Mr. Ruff’s words grasped onto the majority of the audience with his powerful message. He proceeded to explain that his generation messed up and now he is leaving it up to us to save the world. I feel that many individuals were simply overwhelmed (just by listening to the not surprisingly talkative groups that were scattered across the audience); however, I feel that these words that he expressed so vividly and urgently inspired many students too. With this found responsibility that I felt we were already given before, I cannot help but wonder how many students will disregard the speech and forget the urgency of his message. They may give it a second thought; most likely however, it will be put away in a shed of necessary responsibilities they’ve left behind. I, for one feel that this inspirational message should not be procrastinated to the side or tossed to the shed. Awareness should be brought forth about saving this world from itself. Personally, I have both experienced and witnessed unjust situations that simply depress me to a point that I feel disdain towards such insecure and hateful individuals. My disdain and cynical opinions of the majority of people does not provide a positive message. That actually is something I am ashamed of; however, I do not see my cynical attitude going away when it continues to get fueled. It might not have to go away completely, I mean I do feel that a well balanced optimist and pessimist may feel more complete in my eyes. Although, that might just be my extensive obsession with balance. I feel that positivity is something I will need to work on for a contribution to changing the world. This action may be small alone, but if positivity is spread then a tremendous difference can be brought forth. This so-called small action may help people realize that more needs to be done to spread awareness. Our world is in turmoil and we are just worsening it’s distress. In a cessation, I feel that it is absolutely necessary to spread awareness of our responsibility with positive impacts.



Coming to the 9/11 ceremony today, I already expected to hear a moving story of some sort. What I didn’t know, was how personal it would be. As Mr.Ruff stood to give his speech I was excited to see what he had to say, being his speeches always intrigue me. The crowd was silenced quickly as he began to speak, in his first few sentences I was already captivated and attentive. Mr.Ruff spoke of a relation he had with a victim of 9/11, this in itself was enough to grasp the audience. This year the speech went truly in depth, instead of focusing solely on 9/11, Ruff connected the causes of the event to us as students. The main point of his speech was how we must unite as people, he stressed how everyone is equal and everyone is human. This led to his call to the students to change the world, to take what his generation did and modify it. That is what captured me the most, the unexpected responsibility that was laid on me changed the way I think about the world and its people. Mr.Ruff’s speech motivates me to continue to bring awareness to the community of Kona, because how can you solve a problem if you don’t know what the problem is? Inequality is prominent in our society even if we don’t notice it. Personally I have witnessed people being left out or hanging out alone, due to my own pride and given social norms, I couldn’t make myself go and say “hi”. As I reflected on that, it made me disappointed in myself, and the next time a similar situation arose, I reached out. The feeling of making someone feel good about themselves or feel included is the one reason why I push myself to reach out. If everyone included everyone and everyone was treated fairly, the world would change in so many ways. To speak out takes a lot of me and it really makes me think about why it is so hard to be kind and uplifting. When I heard the speech today, I felt my pride dissolving because there are so many good things we can do for people that are not being done because of our reputations or our self dignity. This great flow of inspiration I gained from this morning’s ceremony is a fire that I need to tend to and grow, there is no point in feeling passionate about something if you’re not putting your whole self into it and trying to make a difference. I think Ruffs speech truly influenced Konawaena as a whole to unite and bring people together for the betterment of our world.


Mr. Ruff spoke out about his connections to 9/11 at the memorial ceremony. He first starts out by speaking in multiple languages that I couldn’t even comprehend. It grabbed my attention and soon enough, I was captivated throughout his whole speech. What got to me the most was how he had everybody quiet. Usually when we have guest speakers, I’m not gonna lie, it can get pretty noisy and people can get disrespectful. But the way he spoke about ending racism and how we’re all the same, really had everybody tuning in.  What I also liked about his presentation was the fact that he aimed his message towards us. I always hear grown ups complaining about how we have a screwed up generation and how we need to change but the way that Mr. Ruff expressed how he’s depending on us to fix everything gave me a little bit of goosebumps. As he walked away from the podium signaling the end of his speech, I started to think about how I could help change the world. I know that I won’t be able to do everything, but what I can do is stick up for somebody when they’re in trouble. It only takes one person and one random act of kindness to help make a difference. One step at a time.

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We Can Change The World