When I was sixteen, I spent my spare time either looking for the least traditional prom dress possible or trying to prove how smart/cool I was by reading a lot of Hermann Hesse and Ayn Rand. Most teenagers I have known have been similarly preoccupied, differing only in their definition of 'cool' and the group of peers they are trying to impress.
Imagine my delight and wonder yesterday to find a sixteen-year-old not caught up in the trivialities of appearance and acceptance. Ava Lowery is a homeschooled girl from Alabama who spends her spare time working on her informative and heartbreaking blog, www.peacetakescourage.com. There are many anti-war web logs featuring news stories the networks are tired of covering and astute commentary thereon. Mother Jones's website, for example, this month features "Iraq 101," an excellent Cliff's Notes-style article on the particulars of the War in Iraq--highly recommended.
But what sets Ava apart (other than her age) are her homemade videos, featuring tragic photos she has pulled together from all over the web and assembled in professional and affecting fashion. Only 30 seconds of one of her more famous animations, WWJD, was enough to reduce me to a puddle of despair. But I find I don't want to sit and wring my hands any longer. I want to DO something.
Ava Lowery's pieces are not for the faint of heart or for young eyes, in my opinion. But the rest of us would do well to watch a few, then look into our hearts, get together and talk, and discover what we can do to Stop. The. Insanity.