It was my first day at school. I felt nervous and scared. I went to all my classes with no friends. It felt like no one cared.
I listened anxiously to all the lessons and waited for lunch break at one. Then finally the bell rang. It was time to talk and have fun.
In the lunch line, I met a new friend who wore a hijab on her head, and though I am Jewish, we got along fine, and I was so relieved when she said, “Sit with us, at our table.” She pointed to the one next to the door.
So I agreed, and took my tray and was about to walk with her across the floor, when suddenly I felt a nudge. “Hey, I saw you on the bus,” said a tall girl in a long skirt. “I see your Jewish star necklace. You should sit with us.”
At that moment I looked around, and that’s when I noticed, to my surprise, The nations of the world, isolating themselves. That’s what I saw through my own eyes.
The Spanish only sat with Spanish, the Hindus only with Hindus, The Russians always with the Russians, and never the Arabs with the Jews.
I saw the reason why war gets started. Everyone sticks to their own kind. The lunchroom was a map of the world. Why was everyone so blind?
And so I turned down this girl, and went with the first, and there was no enmity. I built a bridge between two worlds when I sat with those different from me. Hope you will do the same.
By Sharon Fleischer
(Sharon wrote this when she was 16 and in the 11th grade.
Her goal is to become an international diplomat and peace-maker.)