Matt is a 17-year-old from New York City, NY. He loves to be social and spend time with his friends, as well as being an active leader in his community. However, school also plays an important role in his life and he is motivated to achieve his dreams.
In this day and age, if someone wants a large population to know something, he or she goes to Youtube.com to upload a video. For some time now, there have been funny viral videos of babies laughing, animals dancing, and really bad wipeouts. However, that does not mean there isn’t any room left for inspiring and heart wrenching videos. On August 10, 2011, a young boy of thirteen went on YouTube and uploaded a video. Jonah Mowry is one of the bravest kids I have ever witnessed. If you have not seen his video titled, “Whats goin on..” click on the link and then return back to this page. If you have seen the video, let’s discuss. Whats goin on..
First, let’s summarize what occurred in Jonah’s video. The description tells us that it is very early in the morning (or late at night, depending on how you keep track of time) and he could not sleep. There was a lot on his mind. Jonah’s video was about him being scared of starting high school because of all of the teasing and ridicule he obtained throughout the years for being gay. He even writes on one of his cards “suicide was an option.…many times.” A few minutes into the video, Jonah starts to cry. We started to cry as well. We all felt his pain and wanted to go and give him a huge hug . We wanted so badly to tell him he must stay strong.
Why did Jonah’s video go viral?
Like I said earlier, his bravery is inspiring and his honesty is touching. This video is short, yet so powerful. It takes a lot of guts, for lack of a better word, to do what he did. Within a few days, my Facebook News-feed was buzzing with comments and links to Jonah’s video. After watching the video, I was surprised by some of my friend’s responses. I was surprised because all of the comments were positive. I was convinced some of my friends would be harsh and closed-minded. I was amazed that it was those close-minded friends, more than others, who posted comments. Jonah’s video truly changed lives and perspectives on the young adult life. Not even just that though, Jonah’s video started an uprising on YouTube. After Jonah, many kids went on YouTube and uploaded videos about how they were feeling and about things that were on their minds. All of them are real, true, and inspiring.
Back in the old days, when movies were in black and white and the actors did not speak, the emotions spoke for them. Jonah’s video, and the videos that stemmed from his video, followed the old Hollywood tradition. Though the audience could read Jonah’s cards, the emotions on his face spoke louder and clearer. He was hurt, scared and needed help.
The last few cards changed the mood of the video from woeful to hopeful—something that I think everyone needs to focus on. Jonah writes, “I have a million reasons to be Here.” To all of those out there who are facing a rough time in their lives, you too have a million reasons to be here.
This video is amazing because it is so honest and comes from a thirteen-year-old boy. This video shows how hard a young adult’s life can be. The bullying needs to stop now. The teasing needs to stop now. Everyone, young or old, needs to take one giant step back and look at the world we live in. Who wants to live in a world where a thirteen-year-old thought about suicide to end his pain for being gay? Who wants to live in a world where young adults cause pain to each other? Who wants to live in a world where people’s disagreements end in ostracizing groups? Change needs to happen now.
Jonah wrote an update on his video a few days ago. He wrote, “I never expected in a million years that it would have such a wonderful impact on so many people. I am truly humbled and truly thankful for all the love, encouragement and support from people all over the world. It’s been incredibly overwhelming. I don’t know what to say. Thank you so, so much!” Jonah changed the world. Jonah’s video gives hope to everyone that is hurting—not just to the gay community, but to everyone who has ever felt hurt and lost before.
Jonah, thank you for all that you have done so far. You are an inspiration to many and have only begun to change the world. Enjoy high school and stay true to who you are!
Image: photosteve101 from Flickr