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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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Grasping the difference between innocence and maturity

To this day I have a clear memory of Sept. 11, 2001, when I asked my parents, “Why is today so special? Are you picking me up from school early because it’s a holiday?”

Flash forward ten years, and I can now share with anybody — as I frequently do — the difference between Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Osama bin Laden, for what purpose al-Qaeda was formed and some of the almost endless reasons why terrorism is seen around the world.

What happened between then and now, some may ask? Well, to put it simply: I grew up. More specifically, between the start of my junior and my senior years, I’ve matured tremendously, taken an interest in both world and current events and become aware of the terror that stalks this earth.

But with that maturity comes the tragic realization that I’ve lost most of my childhood innocence. With age I’ve become more and more corrupted by worldly things and have begun to lose my innocence, purity or whatever you want to call it.

Yes, some may point out that what I really lost was my ignorance toward the evils in this world. But when I think about it, is there a difference between ignorance and innocence when we’re children? At that age, we literally could not comprehend what was happening on that sorrowful day. That’s why our teachers didn’t show us footage of what was happening on the east coast on the TV and, when my parents picked me up, they simply answered: “Yes, today is a special day.”

Ironically, it is due to our childhood that we mature and learn who we are as people. That is why I strongly believe we need a way to keep possession of that innocence we felt as children in order to become fully developed adults.

Luckily enough, it was this July when I figured out exactly how to do this, and I owe it all to Harry Potter.

Let me explain this a little more in-depth. This July I attended the annual tradition of waiting in line for the midnight screening of the latest Harry Potter movie. I had loved the boy wizard like a brother since I was six, and, because this was the last film in the series, I decided to dress in wizard garb with a number of my friends in order to celebrate the end of an era.

After my shift in line that day, I returned home and began to put on my Ron costume. When I slipped on the last piece of my outfit — a giant red sweater with an “R” stitched into the chest — I recalled a Halloween when, as a child, I had dressed as a wizard with a cauldron, a pointy hat and even a toy Nimbus 2000 — having recieved all these things for Christmas the year before. However, I quickly brushed the memory aside and headed off to the theater to see my friends.

The next few hours flew by like a blur, and the next thing I remember, I was at home at three in the morning, preparing to take off my red sweater.

It was at this point that I became aware of the fact that I absolutely did not want to change. I had joked with my friends that it felt like a bit of our childhood was dying and, at that specific moment, that’s exactly what it felt like was happening.

Of course, behaving as any mentally healthy person would, I eventually changed into pajamas and went to bed. It is by reflecting on this event however, that the moral of the story becomes clear.

That moral is this: Cherish every moment you have or remember having of your childhood innocence, because it could be gone in a blur. As soon as I changed into some normal clothes, that sense of magic the night had carried disappeared, and that little boy dressed up for Halloween became that much more distant.

As a 17-year-old, the only option I have left is to remember as many childhood memories as I can so that I am able to retain as much innocence as possible. Because, in the end, that innocence is going to be the thing that gets me through those days like Sept. 11 when there’s only sorrow, fear and hopelessness in the world.

For more opinion articles, read the May 24 article, Student of the Year: Cassidy Hutchins

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