The movie “Gran Torino” was released in 2008. It was directed by Clint Eastwood, who also played the main character Walt Kowalski. The movie focuses mostly on him and the Hmong family living next door. Walt is a veteran who fought in the Korean war, and because of this he has both seen and done many things that he wishes he hadn’t.
In the beginning Walt seems like a grumpy, old man. He doesn’t seem to like his family, and they don’t seem to like him very much either. He does not have a relationship with his neighbors, and wants to keep it that way. However, this changes quite a lot throughout the movie. Even though he never “admits” it, his Hmong neighbors becomes his new family. Even though they are not related, they all end up caring for each other, and to Walt, that is much more important than blood. Therefore, when both Thao and Sue are in trouble, Walt does everything in his power to help them.
After a while Thao is attacked by one of the gangs in the neighborhood. You can tell by Walt’s reaction when he finds out, that he wants to do something with it. He ends up following one of the gang members home, and beating him up and threatening to kill him if he ever touches Thao again. The consequence of this visit, is even more painful for Walt to hear about. Sue, the first person from the next-door family to contact him, gets beaten up and raped. Walt gets even more pissed off at himself for not being able to take care of them, and blames himself.
Since nobody saw what happened to Sue, the rapists won’t get punished, and Walt realizes that Thao and Sue will never be able to live their lives to the fullest unless something is done. He therefore decides to take matters into his own hands. Once again, he goes to the house of the bullies, but this time he makes a big scene out of it. He shouts and make noises to get the attention of all the neighbors, without the intention to harm anyone. The gang however, believes he is there to get revenge, and they all shoot him till he drops dead. Walt knew this was going to happen, because that was exactly what he had planned. He sacrificed his own life, to get justice for the ones he cared about more than anyone else in the world. Even more than himself.
Every year the students at Fagerlia get the opportunity to be a part of a project called Operation Day’s work. On this day, we can work either at our normal job, in a different company or simply just at home. The point is that we are supposed to earn a certain amount of money and donate it to someone who needs it more that we do. This year, the money goes to youths in Palestine, and some kind of trauma treatment for them, that will make it easier for them to live “normal lives” after having experienced such horrible and traumatising things.
Before the Operation Day’s work day, there is another day called the International day. This year we had something called a human library. Each of the rooms in the school had someone, who was there to help us get better insight in who we were sending money to, and the situation of these people’s lives. Most of them were or have been refugees, and they all got some time to tell us their story, and how they ended up here. I chose to visit a 38 years old man who came to Norway as a refugee from Syria. He is now a teacher, and translator here in Norway. A 20 years old woman who fled from Palestine, who after waiting for eight years in Norway finally got a citizenship, that made it possible for her to get an education and work her. I also visited two younger boys who also came from Syria, and they are actually attending school at fagerlia now.
Hearing these kinds of stories from people who live in the same city as me, and even goes to the same school as I do, really made it easier for me to imagine how it must be to live in a country where war is all around you, you see places you used to like get bombed and destroyed, people you knew or maybe even loved get tortured or killed. Of course, it is impossible for us to know how it must be to live in a situation like this, but the least we can do is listen to their stories, try to imagine, and last but not least, try to help instead of just pretending it isn’t a reality for other people.
January 1st, 2016, the United Nations established 17 global goals to get a more sustainable future. These are “The UN sustainable development goals”, and the goal is to reach them all by 2030. They concern several challenges that the world is facing, like poverty, environmental issues, and economic issues.
The first goal for a more sustainable future is “No poverty”. I think this is one of the most important goals to reach, since poverty is a huge concern for a big part of the world. A definition of the word poverty is “condition where people’s basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are not being met,” and therefore we can easily understand why this is such an important goal.783 million people also live in extreme poverty, which means they live with under 1.90$ a day.
Reducing or extinguishing poverty all over the world will make life a lot better and easier for not only the ones who lives in poor countries or cities and deal with these problems on a daily basis themselves, but it will affect people everywhere. It is probably one of the hardest goals to reach, but I believe it is the one we should work hardest to realize. Some of the things they cannot access are crucial for people to survive and be able to live healthy lives worth living. Many people struggle every day to make enough money to afford food and other necessities for themselves and their family, and I think it is only fair that we, who live in the wealthier parts of the world, help the ones in need.
To accomplish this goal, we have to reach some other goals as well. I think the goals that are most connected to this one, is goal number 2. No hunger, and goal number 4. Quality Education. If we become more willing and make it easier to share all the food that is being produced around the world, we can feed everyone on planet earth, which will be a big step to reducing poverty, because then no one will be in need of food and not be able to access some. This is also very positive to reduce global warming and the climate changes, since it will minimize the amount of food we throw away. Education or at least the possibility to study and get an education is also important since it will help many people get jobs and work to earn their own money and be more independent. This will improve the economic situation for many people, and is therefore also crucial to make these goals a reality.