Fernando

 
There was once a time of laziness, relaxation, and nothingness. That time was known as my summer before attending MMSY program, my life was marked by an absence of productivity and labor. Ever since the conclusion of my sophomore year, I had begun a rapid decline into a schedule of sleeping twelve hours a day and playing video games for nine. The other three hours were reserved for those necessities every human being must take care for the continuation of a happy, nourished, and hygienic life. For the sake of continual acceptance and consideration as a functional member of society, certain exceptions were made to this intricate and constructive lifestyle. While not all of these ‘adventures’ were voluntary, they were all seen as necessary by some person or another.
The start of the MMSY Program, however, marked the end of this exhilarating life style and the beginning of another much more passionate and productive one.
The MMSY Program was a very exciting and informative experience for me. On the first day alone, I learned a myriad of new things. I learned things such as the fact that the United Nations is not a world government but a community/union of nations, that most of the countries usually get along despite what the media shows, that the 5,000 workers in the New York City Headquarters do not represent any nation but simply serve the 193 member nations of the United Nations, and that for a resolution to pass the P5 (the five permanent members of the Security Council: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States) and four other members of the Security Council must vote Yes among other things.
From our visits to UN agencies, I learned not only of their duties, ongoing operations and projects, and achievements, but in some cases, I even discovered agencies whose existence was unbeknownst to me (as with the Alliance of Civilizations). In addition to these things, I also learned about the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
These trips and presentations in addition to the glorious experience that is Youth Assembly revealed to me many things about the United Nations’ workings.
It ought to be noted that all everything I learned during the course of the MMSY Program does not pertain to the United Nations. At the Tolerance Museum, I was educated on the many different forms discrimination, bigotry, and hatred can take. The museum also revealed to me the slavery, genocide, and other horrors that continue to occur in this modern day and age. The film Peace One Day was also quite influential. It clearly showed how even a single person can come to have a great impact on the world. The largest revelation from the film, however, was just how little the media cares about peace.
Before coming to the MMSY Program, I had never heard of this film, Jeremy Gilley, or September 21 being recognized as Peace Day. How little known this film is and the stark opposition Jeremy Gilley faced in his quest to accomplish his dream of an international day of peace, truly proves the saying “if it bleeds, it leads.”
Our visit to various places of worship, yet another enlightening experience. It was wonderful being able to visit these seemingly different religious places to learn about the various religions and then being able to see how similar they all truly are.
The best part of the MMSY Program was the group discussions. In the discussions we not only gained new insights into the locations we had just visited or presentations we recently saw, but also learned many things about one another.
It was an incredible experience being able to meet and befriend people from all corners of the globe. It showed not only how diverse New York is, but also the diversity of the world. I even met someone from a culture I had never even heard about. Being able to learn about these cultures, disprove stereotypes, and realize that a person’s background is simply a factor in who a person truly is, was definitely a great experience.
One of the wonderful things about learning is that you then get to apply everything you learned. I plan to use all the knowledge I gained from the MMSY  Program to educate others on multiculturalism, mental health, the United Nations, and the importance of tolerance. I might even start my own grassroots movement someday to help improve this planet we call home.
 

 

ALL human beings are born FREE and EQUAL in dignity and rights. 

-Universal Declaration of Human Rights