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Igniting Social Change


Ever since I was a child, my father has instilled in me a perpetual fear of the unknown. For fear of my safety, he constantly reminds me to walk in numbers, carry pepper spray, check my bike tires, etc. So, I have come to believe in “uncertainty.”

I believe my friends when they assure me that they are feeling “good,” but I check in with them regardless because there is still a chance; I believe that our school won’t be the next victim to a school shooting, but I panic when I forget to bring my phone to school because there is still a chance; I believe that the exacerbation of climate change can be mitigated, but I worry about my ecological footprint because there is still a chance.

Our lives are but a precarious set of instances compounded upon one another and intertwined with the world around us. To wake up every morning without knowing what is to come is paralyzing and overwhelming. It’s only natural to worry about the future of the world and what little control we have over its fate.

So, nothing is “certain.” Nothing is one-hundred percent guaranteed. There is always a chance — a “one percent.”

But I have also come to realize that nothing is more paralyzing than “certainty” itself. It is “certainty” that induces stagnation — a constitution that cannot be amended and a future engraved in stone. In fact, progress is built upon “uncertainty” — utilized by the marginalized and oppressed to advocate for a more equitable society. If women believed that they were meant to be relegated to the domestic sphere, they never would have agitated for the right to vote. If African Americans believed that they were destined to the chains of slavery, they never would have fought for abolition. If we believe that our future is certainly in peril, we will never advocate for a better one. “Certainty” is simply the illusion of confidence and security, comfort and control. So, perhaps it is “certainty” that I fear most.

I believe in “uncertainty” — the power it wields to ignite social change. I believe that there is still a chance — a chance to expand mental health education, mandate fundamental gun laws, save our environment, and more. I believe in “uncertainty” — in what it has the potential to inspire.

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About the Contributor
Emi Sakamoto
Emi Sakamoto, Staff Writer
Hi, I'm Emi Sakamoto, a senior at CCHS. Through a concentration in opinion pieces, I hope to uproot various social issues and explore them through a dynamic lens. Aside from Journalism, I preside as the 76th Chief Justice of California, Co-President of Speech and Debate, English Curriculum Director of One Step Ahead, Treasurer of Vote 16, and founder of Poetry4Progress.

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