What Can We Do?
What can we do if we see and hear too much violence in our schools and on our streets? The news channels have reported that in Des Moines, people are being shot about every other day, and this scares me to death. I live, work, and attend school in this neighborhood, and I have been inspired by Will Keeps to try to combat this problem. A few months ago, two teens were fatally shot in front of Starts Right Here, the at-risk institution that Will Keeps started and manages. In addition, Will was also shot, lost part of his thumb, spent time recovering in the hospital, and, luckily, is now home. Known for the rap music he produces in an all-effort to influence us to save lives, he desperately wants to understand why the world is getting out of hand and pleads to us to solve our problems. He is most inspiring in his music video, Wake Up Iowa, in which he illustrates the pain bereaved parents experience after their children are killed. He repeatedly reminds us that we have each other. He wants us to focus on choosing morally correct actions and beliefs, and to “take control” of this problem and work together to find a solution for everyone. More than anyone else I know, he serves as an inspiration for people to change their beliefs and behaviors.
How was I affected by his work and by his being shot? I was very upset to hear about his being shot by a teen driver speeding by his workplace, and even more terrified to hear that the students outside his workplace were killed. Will Keep is a remarkable man doing public good and trying to make a change in the status-quo, and it is riveting to hear that he was shot. Since the shooting, I have listened to his videos several times, and I am joining his cause. While in college, I want to acquire permission to have his videos used in classes or to have them broadcasted in cafeterias and meeting rooms on campus. While volunteering at the local Central Iowa Shelter and Services, where I have already served over one hundred hours to serve food to the less fortunate and help people pick out used clothing and other items, I would like to have his videos played. I believe that the more people hear his message and talk about it, the more the public will be persuaded to change negative stereotypes and talk about how to solve the violence problem. I want to lead a discussion about this at the shelter or at college. As much as I have seen Will Keeps work on this problem and involve public figures, such as our governor, Kim Reynolds, and the Des Moines police officer, Mike Moody, I feel it is my job to join him with this cause. This is a cause I believe in and one in which I can persuade others to participate.