Trampoline | Teen Ink

Trampoline MAG

By Anonymous

     Sometimes I feel as though the world is a giant trampoline. We are all jumping on it, not giving any thought to our bounce’s repercussion on our fellow men and women. I have been given the legs to jump in many regions of this global trampoline and have felt the vibrations under my feet. My family took me to Kenya and Israel. My school took me to Belize. My community took me to Appalachia, and I took myself to the Bahamas. How fortunate can one teenager be to experience all these cultures? Each landing left a vivid image in my mind and a reminder that we are all living on one trampoline. Everything we do has an effect on everyone else. The interconnectivity of our lives has astonished me throughout my travels.

My first trip to Kenya was a shock! People walked to work, four hours each way. One image lingers in my mind: the blazing gaze of a Kenyan woman at seven in the morning making her way to work, barefoot, down the side a dusty road. I flashed back to my dinner conversation with our British host family on the veranda of her mansion. She explained her decision not to buy a washing machine because it would put six Kenyan women out of work. I couldn’t believe she thought she was doing these women a favor by paying them minimal wages for menial work! How would Kenya ever grow as a nation? Did she not see she was double bouncing them in the wrong direction?

I landed in Israel a couple years later and found two peoples trying to bounce on the same spot. While in the village of Akko, I observed Israelis and Arabs working side by side building a peaceful community. In Jerusalem, however, I witnessed bullet holes embedded in the sides of Israeli homes. Now, the Israeli government has decided to build a separation barrier, a wall. However, one cannot build a wall on a trampoline. The foundation is not stable enough for peace to prevail.

In Appalachia I found people too weak to bounce at all. The Appalachia Service Project gave me the opportunity to help repair a deteriorating house. Ironically, by the end of the week, the kitchen we built paled in comparison with the image of these people without food. How is it possible that in the richest nation on earth, people go to bed hungry? I found that as we jump higher and higher, others are left farther and farther behind, helpless. Imbalance causes people to fall and they need a hand to get up. Our weight needs to be distributed more evenly on our trampoline so that the weak will not fall.

In Belize and the Bahamas, I realized how our trampoline has become tired from use. In Belize, we studied rainforest ecology and learned that one of our most important ecosystems is in danger of disappearing. In the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, I studied the effects of toxins on dolphins and whales as part of an Earthwatch Program. In both cases, however, even the local people were unaware that their picturesque havens were in danger. We are using up our natural resources and polluting the environment we all must share. In both countries, the damaged habitats affect animal life and the endangered species list expands each year. We are straining the springs that hold our trampoline together.

From Kenya to Israel, from Cohasset to Appalachia, from Belize to the Abaco Islands, we all live on the same trampoline. I have been given a taste of global issues, and if I had a million dollars, I would take my entire class on a trip around the world. We all need to be aware that what we do has a global impact. Every action we take sends ripples across the trampoline. If everyone had the opportunity to see and understand how they affect one another, we would strengthen the threads on the trampoline and one day be bouncing in unison.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.