2017 Today I rise!

My dear students,  here we are again, ready for a new term together. I hope you’ve spent your holidays in a serene way, devoted your time to kindle some of your passions and recharged your batteries. A new year full of hopes has begun but unfortunately, if you read the news, the world still seems to be full of hatred, violence, revenge, injustice and madness. I wanted to start the year with something contemporary to convey a positive message and have chosen Michelle Obama’s last official speech addressing to young people like you.

I then decided to show you this short movie ‘Today, I Rise’ by Alexandra Feldner, that will only take you a few minutes to watch, but will inspire you forever.

Today I Rise from The Flourish Initiative on Vimeo.

  1. We’re going to WATCH the FILM WITHOUT SOUND. What do you think the film is about?  How does the film make you feel?
  2. Now we’re WATCHING IT WITH SOUND ON. In your group decide what the message of the film is. Write it down and be ready to report to the rest of the class.

Here’s the PDF of the paper with the text I’ve given you in class: Today I rise

The short film and poem seem to be inspired by the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou -(April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014 was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist) which is about the centuries of mistreatment and oppression of black people, and about the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

  • Can you find any similarities between the two poems?

INDIVIDUAL TASK: Write a short personal comment connecting “Today I rise” to your daily life. Anything you cannot accept the way it is and can change? Anything you’d like to improve or do differently? Anything you’d like to commit to? LEAVE IT AS A COMMENT BELOW.

May the new year bring you love and peace or al least bring you the wisdom to accept its imperfections.

175 thoughts on “2017 Today I rise!

  1. Watch the video “Today I rise” made me reflect a lot, above all when we watched it without sound. It made me think about what I cannot accept in my life the way it is. I would like to change a million things, from my appearance to my charachter. I think I can try to modify some aspects I can’t accept in my own life. For example I always care too much about what people think about me. Sometimes I would like to reflect more before talk to someone, I know I have to realize that some people can misunderstand my words; and I would love to go back in time in order to cancel my arrogant attitude towards a friend, my parents or a teacher. Maybe I cross the limit beacuse of my strong personality but in some circumstances I should only learn to shut up. I hope to improve my negative behaviors but still be me.

  2. Michelle’s speech gave me goosebumps, she said amazing words to increase the hope in my generation. Personally I didn’t feel that at all, because I’m not that kinda person who fakes a smile even though nothing is worth a smile. PewDiePie (the biggest Youtuber in the world) experienced something like that, he forced positivity on Youtube because he thought that was the right thing to do, turned out it was just exhausting; he was just pretending to be happy when he wasn’t.
    The same situation is happening in real life (not behind a screen), politicians or whoever just pretend things are fine, what’s happening is ok and when there are problems they know how to handle the situation by doing a brainwashing to all of us just to appease the crowd and not create chaos. Do you think that brainwashing will lead us to freedom? She said that “you cannot take your freedoms for granted” but how can you not? Ok, we all have the right to speak, therefore there’s the freedom of speech, right? First of all, are you sure that someone’s listening? Because, let’s face it, we put all of our efforts expressing our thoughts, maybe for law-abiding situations, such as equality and no one cares, everyone’s overlooking it. How many times have I heard about women complaining about the fact that in Italian most of the names of the professions are gender based for example? There’s such a problem here in which a ‘sindaco femmina’ (mayor) cannot be called “sindaca” just ’cause it’s a little bit odd that a mayor can be a woman. I admit that we are working on it, even if we privilege a word like ‘petaloso’ and not a gender equality, and we also MAKE SURE that ‘petaloso’ will join the other terms in our vocabulary, whatever.
    What I’m trying to say is that we can’t change the world by ourselves, even if everyone’s going to collaborate and even if there’s hope; we are not that free, what we do is like 1%, the other 99% is led by the society guided, in turn, by the government, so we can’t do much, we just have to stick to the rules given us and try our best.
    I’ve been meditating all 2016 on my good intentions and goals I wanted to achieve in 2017 but I’ve chosen a different path, I just want to see what is going to happen, I let it all to the faith; I don’t want to change myself, time will do. I just hope hope that this year will be a better year, with lots of changes and developments in our human society, that will lead us to understand the real and important values and focus on them.

    • I checked PewDiePie out and, honestly, didn’t impress me that much. I guess I have a different conception of role models or people worth listening to. Still, I must thank you ’cause you’ve given me a new insight on how young people spend their time. No wonder then they are a bit cynical and pessimistic.
      Obviously (who said so?) we can’t change the world by ourselves but What you call the 99% of society instead is also made BY US, BY our CHOICES to CHOOSE our leaders and change the rules. I respect your decision to be an “in-betweener” and GO with the FLOW. I truly wish you a “better year”, no matter what. But, please, do not fake happiness! Nobody asks you to do that. I’d rather ask you to find the balance, not to be always happy (what a nonsense!!) but aware of the important values to focus on, as you said. 🙂

      • I appreciated your honesty, also because yes, Pewdiepie may seem a little childish but SOMETIMES and I say, sometimes, he expresses important thoughts, pointing out important values. I just watch him for fun, but he makes you reflect.
        I agree that he may not be for everyone ’cause as you said everyone has its own role models, but I just wanted to share his view ’cause that made me think a lot.
        I really thank you for this reply because you made me realize that we are part of that 99% too, and it made me ponder a lot, ’cause we all have an important part in everything we do; everyone’s a piece of the big puzzle we call life.
        About to reflect on that even more now.
        So thanks a lot again, really 🙂

  3. I’ve just been a eighteen-year-old girl and what I don’t accept in my daily life
    are the limits imposed by my parents.
    For example I’d like to spend more time with my boyfriend during the week and to come home whenever I want . I can’t accept that my parents are scared about my ideas and my decisions , first because I’ve always been reasonable and then It’s my life and I’ve the right to do what I desire.
    I could make some mistakes in the future, but It’s normal ! I think that also my parents have done theirs. I know , I’ll rise because I want to do my best to improve this situation and the realtionship with them. I will show them that they can trust me , the first thing that I’ll do is , improving my marks at school.
    It won’t be easy , but I can do it !!

  4. I’ve got so many thing in my mind when I think about changing the way some things are. I’d like to start by changing people’s mind, that’s the first step to reach a positive target. If people understand that we must change our lives, we could apply new visions, new rules but also new liberties. I would turn particular attention to women’s and children’s rights. There is too much exploration in the world, too much racism, too much misogyny, too much hate. Everyday I read about negative news. I would like to stop economic and religious wars. Also politic isn’t going in the right way it should go, to much corruption is predominating. If the polititians aren’t correct to us why should we be correct to them? If you are driving a country you should be an example, otherwise you increase discontent among citizens. I would change the distribution of money: I would give a chance to poor people to liv with dignity. If life is a gift it must be something good, something to be cultivated day to day. It shouldn’t be a conviction.
    I would really like to have the power necessary to change the world but it will only remain a dream until everybody will realize that unity makes the strength.

  5. “Today I rise” talks about women. About their strength, their perseverance.
    It also shows the female frailty and the numerous battles women got to face.
    Connecting it to our daily life, we can think about all those prejudices women are undergone. Let’s do a comparison between a guy, who tells anyone how proud he is about his innumerable love conquests, and a girl who does the same. Which one do you think is considered an “easy person”?
    I cannot stand this way of seeing the female world at all. This is something I desire to change: submit to people’s judgements. We should be free of doing what we feel, without worrying about what the others think of us.
    “If you wanna make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then make the change” says Mr. Jackson in “Man in the Mirror”.
    I wanna commit to stop judging. Everyone judges, often involuntarily, and like many of you, I do it with no malice. It’s a very thin line the one which separates “your own opinion” and “ your judgement”. It’s very easy to fall into the second one.
    By the way, I would like to end my comment reporting what I felt in class while reading “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.
    I looked at the paper and I got dragged into the spirit of her words. At the end of the poem I breathed and thought that…it just looked like a prayer.

    • I’m totally with you. Even the language has sexist words such as bachelor Vs spinster or womaniser Vs slut/bitch.
      As regards Judging, I’ve just finished reading a book “Nonviolent Communication: A language of Life” by Rosenberg & Marshall and have learnt that being able to OBSERVE without evaluating (judging) is the highest form of human intelligence (the Indian philosopher Krishnamurti said so).I want to add some quotes for you:
      “self-judgements, like all judgements, are tragic expressions of UNMET NEEDS” I find it so true! “Criticism and diagnosis get in the way of peaceful resolutions of conflicts”. I’m also working to improve my communication skills ( with young people, but also resentful adult colleagues is more and more necessary)and every day I tell myself not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. 😉
      Last but not least, Bik, I agree with you … it was like a prayer.

  6. I like “Today I Rise” because its verses are powerful and I felt so inspired by the meaning. It expresses energy.
    I loved that they included women of (almost) every culture in the world, because it makes the song in an universal level, and I love the transitions with the goddesses and mothers of all religions in this planet, which means that they are the same, and there isn’t a best one.
    I’m not sure what I want to change within this school year, but I’m sure that, in my future, I want to change the human view full of prejudices against women. A woman needs to work twice than a man to receive the same reward. A single woman is viewed in a negative way if she doesn’t get married. A single man is viewed as attractive (bachelor). I think prejudices are really born from a closed mind and from a lack of education.
    This is why I think the world needs more education. :/

    • “As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.”
      Virginia Woolf one of my favourite writers

  7. Watching the video “today I rise” I soon get the message of the author about that gap that has always been between male and female roles, that fortunately with our generation is little by little been destroying. There are so many things that lead me think that injustice is winning against justice in our world but probably, for now, I can’t do a lot to stop big issues as wars, social disparity, hunger in the world or environmental problems; so I will talk about a smaller problem that concern me more closely. I’d like to make schools place where you don’t just learn concepts by heart and where people care more to take a good mark than to actually understand something, but a place of discussion over also contemporary issues, dedicating some hours talking about what’s going on outside. We, students, are the future and we must be aware of the dailys problems that affect our world, even outside Pordenone and Italy. Saying that we should inquire about those things on our own is hypocrisy, because we are oppressed by big amount of homework, after which we prefer chilling, making sports or going out. So I believe that school should help us making our personal ideas on things, not just repeating that one of a famous writer or philosopher, and also permit us to create our own culture, that goes over the knowledges that now we are studying.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Isn’t what you ask what we are doing right now and in our classes? it’s already something and we can build on it.
      “Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.” Therefore, keep on committing in such activities at school and spread the word.

      • yes! In fact I appreciate a lot what we do in our English lessons and the fact that you are one of the few teachers who always tries to integrate your subject with something more, outside grammar and literature, so that we can always learn new things that don’t only concern English language.

  8. I found it out when I was 5 years old and I live with it since that time. When I was a child my constant question to my mom was :”Why me, mommy? Can you do something magical to make it disappear?”. For my mom was pretty difficult answering, giving me the correct explanation to why I got diabetes. Now, that i’m 17 years old, I can answer myself and this is what I ended up to think: “Honey, you can’t do anything about it. That’s life and sometimes shit happens”. I can’t cancel this illness just like taking a pill, healing it like a cold. And do you know what is even better ? I got the worse version of the illness (yes, there are two different versions of diabetes) !!!!!!!!!! For me it’s like not having the pancreas. I’m seriously thinking that when I was 5 years old my pancreas had the great idea to stop working and start an infinite holiday (I always hope that this holiday will finish as soon as possible). I’ve got to deal with this annoying and quite heavy illness every single day H24 and I can’t think about eating something without doing an injection of insulin. But you know what? I can handle this. Everyday I fight against diabetes to allow myself living a life of a normal person, healing my illness at the best. So yes, I rise, but not just today, every day. Thinking about all the positive things I have around me is the best way to not focus just on how unlucky I am having diabetes. I can’t change it, I can’t improve it, I can’t cancel it. The best thing I can do is to not allow it ruining my life and let me think that it is a limit for me.

    • Thank you, Federica, for reminding us how precious our health (that we take for granted) is. You are a fantastic young woman, brave, endowed with greater sensitivity and empathy but also funny, energetic and full of life! Your daily fight has made you much stronger and has taught you to make the best of every day and connect with other people. I’m so happy to have you in my class. xxxooo

  9. This year I want to focus and work on myself.
    I don’t really stick to the classic “New Years resolutions” where you try to suddenly change aspects of your life just because it’s a new year. Also I tried that method and gave up soon after to most of the things I originally settled.
    So I want to improve, I want to dedicate more time and energy to school, and most importantly I want to learn and grow as a person. I feel like 2016 was a tough year, but also one of the happiest I’ve ever experienced. I had so many days where I challenged myself and did something I thought I would’ve never done. And I’m proud of this! I want to discover myself more and push my limits foward. I am a very shy person and I never talked much to people I didn’t know well or I thought I didn’t enjoy parties or places with too many people. I couldn’t stand this aspect of me so I tried hard to be more open and now I’m here talking to strangers and going out in crowded places and having fun with the new amazing people I have in my life. I mean, it could seem something really common but to me it totally wasn’t. I also want to be at peace with myself, I want to stay positive and put every problem into perspective.
    In fact I really liked Michelle’s speech mostly beacuse she gives hope and motivates us young people. I have to say that also some of the comments above inspired me a lot! (And are written soo well, I’m impressed and I definitely want to reach that level of English).
    Some of the problems I can’t change, as many people have already mentioned, are poverty, climate change, any form of hate or discrimination, even if in the last ones I can make a change as an individual. I honestly just wish that the world was filled with love, it would be so much better.

    • We can start filling its holes with little love 😉 Your comment was such a pleasure to read to me! I’ve known you for three years now and I can say that I feel truly proud of you and what you’ve just written. Your achievements are not “common” at all! Now do not talk too much to total strangers! LOL

  10. I’ve just rewatched the video. Full screen, high volume. And it’s great. I feel like I’m close to this cause as I’m a sort of feminist (I’m not a feminist actually but I support feminism) and seeing another video about women and girl power makes me literally feel good vibes. I think it’s a cool start, right?
    Anyway, there are tons of things I would like to commit to. For this year, or at least for now, I’m choosing one. Lately I’ve been finding myself impractical, daydreaming on things that might never happen. But still it all sounds great in my mind, it all looks perfect like I am secretly creating some sort of masterpiece. What I want to say to myself is, today I rise. Today I rise and I figure out things, I clear my mind and I turn my ideas into reality.

  11. If I look back to my past and think about what I used to be like and which were my biggest achievements and skills, school is always the first thing that comes to my mind. I remember being good at every subject in elementary school and almost every subject at middle school. Everything is different now: I constantly struggle trying to keep up with all the different subjects, but my skills have worsened and it’s basically impossible for me to get satisfying results. What troubles me the most are those subjects that require learning facts and gathering knowledge from a book, without any practical activities, just studying and memorizing, hence Philosophy and History.
    On one hand, I know it’s just how my brain is: it’s hard for me to assimilate information by studying paragraphs from a book, that’s why the subjects I’m best at are those that require calculating or using formulas and languages.
    On the other hand, though, I am aware that it’s mostly my fault: I have a serious issue with procrastination, literally everything is a distraction for me and the lack of care I have for my future self is alarming. I’m constantly delaying the most urgent things because “I can just do it later” only to go watch a random video I’m not even interested in on my YouTube recommended page or read a book I don’t really care about, and that plays a huge part in making my own life worse.
    That’s why one of my resolutions for this year is to stop… Well, let’s say moderate my procrastination problems. For extra help, I got a weekly agenda where I can write down my plans for the day, but I’ll have to work really hard, because for now it’s not going really well. We are not even two weeks into the new year and my brain is already going “you can write on the agenda later, just go have a snack for now”
    I’ve never been that determined, so I know it’s going to be troublesome, but I still have a little bit of faith in myself and I hope everything will work out.

    • Gaia, your self-analysis is very lucid,therefore you’re half-way to success. You are perfectly aware of the problem, now you should take measuresto solve it. Like any goal the rule of SMART applies:
      S – Specific: do not procrastinate
      M – Measurable: e.g. must do what I need within an hour
      A – Achievable: it’s possible to do your homework in time
      R – Realistic: don’t ask yourself at the beginning to do everything on the spot but at least 2 or 3 actions a day and then increase. (Good idea of the diary)
      T – Time oriented: give clear deadlines

      Hope to have been of some help. You’re clever and strong, I’m sure you’ll improve, day by day :)One part at a time, one day at a time, we can accomplish any goal we set for ourselves.

  12. ” Anything you’d like to improve or do differently? ”
    Probably for me is one of the most important and most often question that I think in my mind,because I always give me a good aim to reach in everyday situation such as sport,life,work…also at school (belive me I try in english lesson too 🙂 ).
    In my personal case what I don’t like about myself is my not attention,my not curation of particulars cause I always been superficial ! I know it will be hard to change my character more pleasure but I did once why not twice??

    However what I cannot more accept is the behavior of some poeple when you bend over backwards for them but they don’t understand what you did for them,as if it were everything had. Secondly the importance of the word using by some (probably) bore guys, for no reason, just for put “zizzania” (I don’t know if this word really exist in english but only for the idea) between two people who are on the same page.

    In conclusion I will focus on the first part of my comment, for the rest of it I will be superficial as I do everyday,because it is not depend on ME.

    • Piergiorgio, it’s about time you take on your responsibilities. You don’t have to change your personality (you cannot) but you can modify the BEHAVIOUR you know is not right (like being distracted, unfocused, careless, superficial)to make you improve or succeed. This quote is right for you: “You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” – Stephen King

  13. This new year is going to be probably the hardest one in terms of studying and hardworking, but I will rise. In this few months we will have to make very difficult choices, like leaving our family to attend the university or taking different roads to the one’s we loved and we actually love; we will study as we have never done before to pass the exams that will give us the ticket for our new life as young adults, full of responsibilities but free. It might sound scary and I think It is, but I won’t give it up! I will face my future, overcoming the obstacles in my way and creating the life I’ve always wanted and dreamed about. I will rise!

    • A quote by the famous actor James Dean (I loved when I was your age) “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

  14. Watching the video “Today I rise” I percieved an important thing: you can reach your goals and you can have a peaceful life although there are someone that will try to stop you. I think that one of my problems is that I’m frightened of what the others think about my behaviour and my personality and so it’s always difficult for me to discuss with my friends because I worry about their prejudices and their opinions and if my way of thinking is suitable for them. I know that I must take away these thoughts from my mind but in some circumstances I can’t do it.
    This year I want to be more determined on what I have to do and to try to overcome the difficulties of life. Furthermore, I have to be more myself and not to focus a lot on the others’ opinions ( I want to learn from them but this is the first step to improve and trust yourself).
    Another thing that I want to do is not to give me huge goals but small ones in order to arrive at them easily and also be more satisfied with myself. In my opinions all of this is due to the lack of hope: in the news we hear a lot of sad news ( I’m thinking about all the misfortunes in the world such as the terrorists attacks, all the homicides and also the poverty) and sometimes the events that make we sad remain more in mind than the good ones. Nevertheless I want to enjoy all the moments of my life and to improve myself, so I can reach my targets.

    • I’ll reply using Oscar’s words “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” It’s up to you to stand up for your ideas and not to gratify or please the others. I personally never had this problem ’cause I’ve always felt that I’d rather be alone than with people who love me for the person I’m not. I wish you will reach your goals. Don’t forget that Goals and resolutions must be SMART:
      S – Specific
      M – Measurable
      A – Achievable
      R – Realistic
      T – Time oriented

  15. I really appreciate Maya Angelou’s poem because it puts me in a sort of good mood, in a way that is quite hard to explain. While i read it, I feel myself almost into the text and its words, I can see the images built by the author in her sentences so clearly and it seems me that I can understand them all perfectly. At a first sight this poem could be seen as tailor-made for women, but honestly I think that it can be extended to every person in this world. The first thing I connect it to is my passion for football, because even if in the past some people told me it was just a dead-end dream I never paid attention to them, far from it I worked harder to demonstrate my belief, sometimes gaining great satisfactions.

    • Sometimes I had the impression you were the first not to believe you could make it. Now you seem to be much more committed and resolute. Sometimes the old lazy habit pops up … 😉

  16. Ah the beginning of a new year I always promise that things I can’t accept will change. But most of the time I don’t do anything to change them maybe ’cause I always had everything I wanted.
    Indeed my problems are nothing compared to those exist in the world like the hunger, the violence, the wars. And when I complain to the school, to the observations of my parents or to something that I haven’t, maybe I should think that I’m a lucky girl and that these aren’t the real problems of life.
    Anyway I hope that this year is a better year for everyone but mostly that everyone (including myself) do something to improve the world we live in.

    • Hoping is not enough. If you really believe in what you’ve just written you should start ACTING and making your hopes become ACTIONS.

  17. First of all I want to say, like some of others guys have already said, that I loved Michelle Obama’s speech. She used very strong and motivational sentences directed to the whole world, but above all to the young people. She sent a message of hope and love. She encouraged you to not give up, to work hard and to keep fighting for what you want or for those you love.
    Instead in the second video, “Today I rise”, I really liked the two verses “Today, I rise without doubt or hesitation/ Today, I rise without excuses, without procrastination”. I fully agree with these type of sentences, but I admit that it’s very hard to do it always, to rise every time you fall, every time you fail. I’m a sporty and I understand well that it’s difficult to get up again after a personal defeat.
    This is what I want to improve of myself: be more and more positive, more thoughtful and active. I’d like to travel, to have more fun, to know new people.
    The last thing I wanna change, like Erica, is the relationship with my family. I have to start being more grateful and kind with them, that there are always for me, to help and support me.

  18. I really like the video, even when I watched it without audio. I saw in women face fragility, strength, sadness, delight, youth, old age, spontanety, fear, beauty, liberty, distinctive trait, curiosity, slavery.
    I saw different women, beloging to different generations, countries, and different employments; but in the same time i saw only a big family and i felt so pround to be a women, to be part of a strong gender that too many times has been subjugated and abused and after all has never given up.
    As regards 2017 i believe with all my heart the world will get better, in every way it will be possible, there is a lot to improve. I would like to reserving more time for me, I’d like to visit new cities and new countries, I want to grow and become ever more responsable, stay more with my family and appreciate more what i have.

  19. Let us stop and reflect just a little bit. What is the meaning of rising yourself? Are you really going to improve your life or you are only ignoring what is going wrong? Is It a self-deception?
    Life hardly goes on well and if It does, something adverse will happen soon.
    It’s not a pessimistic view of the life, it’s realistic, even the Murphy’s law explains it.
    We are in a period of life where we are forced to do some things that we don’t care or we don’t like at all. Every day time flows, we are constantly judged by people, especially teachers and parents. This has created troubles because the time that we could spend for ourselves is decreasing every day a bit more. How we are supposed to rise if we don’t even have time for ourselves? It is a lack of respect towards the human being. Having Saturday night as a free day it’s like fooling us, the next day everything starts back again. Outsiders may think it’s ordinary life for a student, but you can’t call it life by any means. It is going to be life when we will be free, following and reaching our dreams to make everything rising up.
    Freedom is the key to life.

    • So Giovanni, the only way to reach the day when you are free, is making sacrifices now, do your best at the things you’re forced to do ( didn’t you choose this school? If not, that’s the problem) and once Liceo is over, you can commit to do what you will CHOOSE. Still, even then, life will always imply hard work and commitment to succeed.

  20. It was New Year’s Eve. At the stroke of midnight, I realized I shoul’ve been changing and improving myself since months, or even more… So I reflected a lot on what I did during the year that has recently gone, and especially on who I was, or trying to be. During these days, I’m trying to understand who I really want to be, and on how I could fulfil my dreams.
    I tried hard to find a simple answer, a simple, fast and certain method to be the real me. I discovered that there’s just one way to be who I really am, and it is to care less about what people say and just do what I really want to do, to follow my heart more than my mind, to recognise my flaws and my weak spots without being ashamed of them, and most of all, to understand that I must NEVER chase people, never again, because a person who values you wouldn’t ever put themselves in a position to lose you. So I think my main resolution for this year is to focus on myself and on people who really deserve a place in my life and in my personal growth.
    But now I want to write something about “Today I rise”, a poem we read and listened in class. Actually, there’s nothing to say, apart from the fact that it is an amazing and inspiring poem. I just wanted to reflect a little on the video: it is really involving and so full of different images that you just can’t stop watching it… I think it talks about a lot of different topics, from violence to emancipation, from war to the beauty of the nature. At the end of the video I was like divided into two: one side of me is really positive about our world because there are a lot of good reasons to love it the way it is, and also to love the ones who really want to change it in a positive way, while there’s the other side that is literally destroyed because of the situations in some places (war, hunger, and so on…). I know that at the moment I can’t do anything special to change it, but I think that sometimes we could just stop for a minute our egocentrism and think about who really has got nothing but shred (straccio) and a piece of bread, if they’re lucky
    I have enjoyed a lot doing this activity, and I’m hoping this 2017 will be a year of positive changes all around the world, even though the circumstances are not the best ones. Let’s hope so and let’s keep ourselves positive! 🙂


    • cannot add anything you’ve said it all! Just be yourself, Veronica, because you’ve got a shining soul and a sharp mind and your body radiates hope, sweetness and strength.

  21. The poem “Today I rise” by Maya Angelou made me think about what i want to change in my life. Later a introspective study of myself I can say that my biggest wrong habit is the fear to put myself in new situations, I fear the unknown future. This fear bring me to don’t do the things I like and keep me in a position of stalemate. This fear is strictly connected to the fear of making mistakes that bring me again in a position where I can’t do anything but stay stationary. So this poem is a sort of of alarm clock that say to me:”Raise up!” and now what I want to do is to say:”Today I rise!” and start to do what I really want without thinking about what people would say or the changes that my actions may would make. This is not only a change for living better but also a change that will make me a mature man and no more a child. Sure this is very easy to say with written words, but i will try with all my forces because now I really understand that this is a immaginary boundary that my coscience see like a giant and infinite brickwall. Now I have to take a pick and start to break down that wall that separate me from what I want to do and who I want to be. This for me is a very tough decision because my pessimistic view of life would tell me that everithing I do is useless and a lot of time I start thinking that what I do is senseless, but I don’t give up and the reason I found to live this world is to take the life for what is and do what I like ( and this is the very tough choiche and for me is like a mission to accomplish).

    • Dear Alberto, since I first met you – 3 years ago – I think you’ve made great strides and taken giant steps. This comment of yours is evidence of what I mean.As you said, sometimes like is absurd and everything we do seems useless, but it’s right in our daily struggle that we can find SENSE and by making CHOICES we become HUMAN. I’m positive that you’ll tear down that brick wall and … make a movie of that 🙂

  22. The poem that strikes me particularly was, “Still I Rise”. This poem against oppressors of the black people made me think that in these years full of contradictions would be nice to rise up and change many things:
    Religious differences that turn into civilizations wars;
    The well-being of the West that contrasts with the poverty of the third world;
    The difference in treatment in employment between men and women;
    The pollution of the planet which doesn’t leave much hope for future generations;
    Selfishness prevails over generosity.
    But we can’t always change things: I think very often win the indifference, in an era of wealth and prosperity. While on one hand this brings us to enjoy every comfort and all the other advantages, on the other put us a kind of fog that makes us turn a blind eye to the injustices of the world. We do not give enough importance in what we have in front of our eyes pretending we don’t see. This leads us to inaction, thinking it wouldn’t change things anyway. Instead we are not only responsible for our actions but also of what, in abstaining, we allow others do, as injustice.
    Fortunately there are some things, like the ones we read and heard, that make us realize that we must take part to improve the world we live in.
    Michelle Obama was not limited to be First Lady, but is committed to exposing social issues firsthand, Maya Agelou has fought for the rights of black people, so many people every day engage in silence to fight injustice.
    And is thinking on them that I say: now I will rise!

    • Still, you haven’t mentioned your own resolutions nor how you can “take part to improve the world we live in.” You cannot rise just thinking 🙂

  23. When at midnight of the 31st of December started the new year, the first things that I thought were: What can I Improve now?
    What changes must I do? by now, all the mistakes are passed, so the goals that I would reach are certainly have fun and try to be open with people with whom I have less sympathy because I would be sincere and have less possible problems.Of course, for improve myself I must work hard and commit a lot,but with seriousness all my goals can be achieved in a short time.

    • Was that really your first thought at midnight? Kidding me? Which specific goals did you set? HavING fun and tryING to be open-minded with people you are LESS ATTRACTED TO or yOU LIKE LESS (avere meno simpatia) are only two goals but don’t you think that avoiding problems (have FEWER problems) is a bit vague and may seem a bit superficial? I hope you’ll achieve your goals even if not necessarily in a short time. Don’t be over-optimistic 🙂

  24. I couldn’t rest very much in the last Christmas break, but now it’s time to start everything again and as every year, I have thought about my good resolutions for the new year. Surely the things that must change in the world are a lot, but thinking more concretely, there are others I can work on also in my life.
    I’m a bit surly and because of my personality I easily argue with people. I’m always stressed and so I often backtalk, especially to my family’s members.
    So I would like to commit to try to be more patient, but also I would like to devote time to me, doing what I like to do.
    In my opinion, starting the new term with a positive lesson is really the right thing to do.
    “Today I rise” is a video that can be a good start for the new year which has just begun. After seeing it, I felt powerful and I could think over its meaning: we have to be determined to face everyday difficulties without any fears but with the right confidence instead.
    I think that the sentence “Today I rise” is a philosophy of life that everybody should put into practice every day from the moment we open our eyes in the morning and should be a kind of “mantra” we should memorize and repeat whenever we’re down, upset, fearful or disillusioned by something.
    “Today I rise” is a personal support that allows us to face the obstacles we always meet in life with determination and renovated strength.
    Actually I shouldn’t complain about what is going on around me, in my family, at school or in the town I live, compared to what are people’s sufferings everywhere in the world. But I do complain. It’s hard to wake up early in the morning, to be well prepared for school tests, to study after dinner because in the afternoon I’m busy with training; but from now on I’ll keep in mind 3 precious words: hope, dream and life project.
    As the former American First Lady said, HOPE is a feeling everyone but especially young people must have, regardless of their origin or the social class they belong to.
    A DREAM is something we must pursuit because hard work will help it come true.
    A LIFE PROJECT is a sort of personal path we will be able to fulfill thanks to our passions and commitments.
    Finally, for me, “Today I rise” is also a way to say that if in the past I went through a very tough period, I can overcome everything and it makes me think that I can always count on someone but especially that i matter for myself.

  25. When I was little I thought that the world was as in the cartoons: beautiful, pacific and above all happy. But with the time I have understood that it is a world full of injustice, violence, indifference, arrogance, couldn’t-care-less attitude. This is not the world that I imagine, I don’t like it! I don’t want to tell you not to be optimistic but we are the future and there is nothing scarier than that. We are not reliable as a species. But we must not lose the hope, it would be enough that every one of us did something because we are making a difference. We must begin from ourselves!
    For example I want to improve at school, I want to get serious, making also sacrifices. I want learn fight for a thing, like my mother. I want to be satisfied of myself.
    I also want to do something on my own; more relaxed and clearer.
    I hope in a best future for everybody…

    • Maria, you’ve already taken giant steps and made great strides in these 3 years. If you keep working hard, you’ll get satisfied with yourself and fight for something you believe in, like your mom.

  26. The video but above all the lyrics really impressed me and it made me think about many things. With this video I could understand how lucky I’m and I realized to be a superficial person.
    I’m lucky because I have a family that everyday supports me and tries to give me the best. I live in a safe place and I go to school.
    I’m also a superficial person because I complain about everything like going to school whereas so many children can’t go to school due to war, poverty or religion. I waste my time on futile things like watching television and surfing in Internet whereas in many countries people are fighting and even dying for freedom. A right that all of us should have.
    “Today I rise” and commit myself to appreciate my life and I hope that in the near future the children all over the world will be free to attend school. Going to school is the beginning of own freedom.

    • Please Erica, print this comment, stick it on your bedroom wall and whenever you start complaining, have a look at it and modify your behaviour. I’m sure it’ll help not to be “superficial”(or childish I’d say) as you said.

  27. My horoscope for the 2017 says thai I have to live this year with determination and that I should be more dedicated to myself. I think that I really need this because during the last year I took not enough time for me. I hope to be sure of my choices and not to be influenced by others. My priority this year is to help in the right way my little brother because he’s going to attend the middle school.
    I’d like to work on myself this year.. I’m a really untidy and disorganized person and I hope to improve this aspects of me.

    • Set specific goals every day and you’ll succeed Asia as you’re a strong young woman. Your little brother is lucky to have you 🙂

  28. This text was an inspiration for me because, as a woman, made me feel part and close to all those feelings that unite us and that we feel in our lifetime. Referring also to the video, which I really liked the pictures, it has developed in me a new desire to live, to improve and not to give up as the women represented in the video that, despite not having anything, always keep smile. The song tell us how from nothing, we can still get something. Thanks to this I differently look my life and I won’t waste, neither a moment, without the people I love.After all this optimism, I must also denounce certain aspects of my personality. I don’t accept the fact of not being able to express what I have inside and my condition of not being able to deal particular situations, even when it would be better the other way. But that’s a part of me that I can change and I can improve.There are many things I would change instead but I can’t, and it is precisely this “helplessness” that makes me suffer. See every day on television people who lost their lives due to stupid and useless wars makes me suffer. Be aware that even the air we breathe can make us sick blame for pollution makes me suffer. Know that animals , from domestic ones to those for slaughter, are treated in unrealistic and indecent ways makes me suffer. I could go on with the list and unfortunately with a lot of these things I couldn’t do something to make them better.

    Going more personal, in addition to the problems that afflict the world, I can’t put up with people who criticize all my actions. I know I’m not perfect, but who can say to be perfect?

    I like tips because they always taught me new things and they have made me grow, but I don’t like criticism because they make me sad. Observing as I am in my small way, I can say I need more determination. I would be stronger, like the tiger in the video, so I can face any adversity and all those who want to stop me.

    It may be just a beginning but only reading some words on the text I reinforced myself and I’m ready for new challenges. The short piece taken from the text says “you may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise”.These are strong words, but they give me strength and it is this strength that makes me answer the question I often ask me, that is “where are you?”. Now, more than ever, I can safely say “I’m here, ready to fight and achieve all my goals. No one can stop me.”

    • Sara, your analysis is extremely lucid. You’re just a very sensitive but strong young woman. Criticism, if meant to make us improve, should be accepted as a treasure. Of course, it must be positive criticism. As you said: no one can stop you! By the way, you’ve written a beautiful comment.

  29. In 2017,I would like to succeed in organize better my time. We are in the last year of high school, so we have to study a lot and not forget anything because we need it for the final exam. Now that I am in the final year it often happens to me to think how and why I started this school. Honestly in four years and a half I’ve never thought of change it, because it has given me a lot of opportunities: I’ve travelled a lot, I’ve met new people that have helped me to discover more of myself, of what I like and what I want, and helped me to grew up.
    So this school has given a lot to me, but sometimes, I’m sure for all, it seems impossible to overcome some scholastic difficulties, as all the difficulties that we meet in our every day life.

    I think the problem is that most of the time you just see all the things you have to do, all the problems you have, and the things that don’t work as you would like. All together seem a huge mountain impossible to climb, you feel stressful and simply ask to yourself: “How can I face it?”
    But then if you stop for a while, if you look at your past, at how many obstacles you have overcome since now, you realize that if you do your best, you can do it, you are able to overcome all the difficulties you meet.

    So what I’m trying to do is to learn to organize better my time, in order to spend more of it for myself and for what I really want.

    I would like to finish with a simple but precious quote of Hester Browne that have always inspired me: “ What is meant for you, will find a way to reach you”.

    • I understand what you mean by feeling overwhelmed. Anyway keep in mind that, to get better organised, you must set your goals as SMART :
      S – Specific
      M – Measurable
      A – Achievable
      R – Realistic
      T – Time oriented with a deadline

      I have no doubt you’ll do great!

  30. This week school started again, we were all not so enthusiastic, but I think we’ve started in a great way.
    We watched three short movies, all very interesting. About ‘Today I rise’ I can not say much, it didn’t really moved me…I mean not like the one of Michelle Obama.
    She spoke with so much passion, feeling, and most of all motivation that touched me.
    With her words she gave me the certain that there is still someone who believes in youngs and who gives her hopes in them. In our small we can change things, we can change ourselves and we can improve our commitment in what we believe.
    I believe that in this past year I have grown a lot, I know I have changed many things of myself and for this reason I’m proud. But this year I want to improve more.
    I want to spend more time with my family and my friends, I want to achieve all my goals and I want to take all the opportunities that will be given to me.
    I hope this year will be wonderfull.

    • It will, if you stick to your resolutions. I’m glad you enjoyed the movie. Not only Mrs.Obama believes in the young; also your teacher 🙂

  31. The world where we all live is going through a very strong period of crisis . In fact in the 2016 the number of terrorist attacks has grown significantly compared to previous years and racial conflicts afflict the whole earth . For these reasons I found inspiring the Michelle Obama’s speech in which invites new generations not to suppress their opinions and to fight for a better future . New generations are the only hope for humanity for change things and have a chance to live in a world with no war , no poverty and no hunger .

  32. In the first lesson we have also dealt with the topic of women’s rights. The video that we saw called: “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, initially has left me puzzled, I saw faces belonging to a differents races marked by suffering and then at the end I felt positive feelings seeing them happy. In the world still there are women who cannot express fully their rights of women, often hampered by the rules of their religion or husbands themselves, who see their wives as property, and this is one of the things that I want to change in the absolute. Another thing that I cannot accept the way it is, and for me is the most important thing that the world must change is the war. Nowadays there is still war, but the thing that I cannot understand is the reason for which they act in this way. As we saw in 2016, there have been many attacks by ISIS, and that have proven pretty painful, and a lot of people felt overwhelmed. It is horrible that people lose their life in this way, and it is an injustice that’s another human being to decide the fate of their life to a senseless reason. I think that some things that we can do to improve the world and stop the war is to develop a closer, more respectful relationship between others religions that are part of this world, publicize and oppose racism and stop the backlash against immigrants.

  33. I really appreciated the poem “Still I rise” by Maya Angelou, which I found inspiring and very motivational.
    I spent all my day thinking about what to write in this comment in order to make it on my own instead of searching it in the web, but what the poem transmitted to me is too difficult to explain in a few words. Like a beautiful quote by Stephen King says:
    ” The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out…”
    The central message that Maya Angelou trasmitted me is her triumph over all kind of adversity that she found on her way. This essential thing is the one that I want to take like an example from her.
    I hope this year to have the power to go over all kind of adversities and difficulties that I bump into!
    I promise to myself that I will give less importance to things that distract me from school and which remove me from my priorities.
    This year, in spite of everything, I WILL RISE!

    • I add 2 quotes that may inspire you as well. “The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain.” – Kahlil Gibran
      “Difficulties strengthen the mind, as well as labor does the body.” – Seneca

  34. When we listened and we watched the video of the poem “Today I rise” I was touched for its beautiful images and for its meaningful prose and also this video made me realize how difficult it is for women to live in a society where the majority of them are discriminated in favor of men. Their success and their goals in what they want to achieve requires greater effects and sacrifices.
    When I see an injustice I would like to protest and also to point it out because men and women should have the same rights and opportunities all over the world. To reach this goal us women must stay alert and proclaim our rights to fairness. We must be given the same opportunities to reach the success in everything we do in life. Women have the wisdom, the beauty, the compassion and with all these qualities they can make a better world. I think that all the people would like to eliminate all the negative aspects (like racism, discrimination, violence, poverty…) and we can change the world only with the good will of everyone. Personally, I would like to be more self-confident, I will also try not to give up when I will find difficulties and also I would like to find some time for relax myself. So, even though in these days we are hearing only bad news, with this video I felt better because it opened my mind and it inspired me a lot and it gave me much positivity and hope.
    Another video of these days was made by a great american woman, Michelle Obama, who was also for 8 consecutive years the First Lady of America; this is an appeal for hope and comprehensiveness and I admire this woman for all that she did for her country and also for the entire world and a proof is what she said in her speech: that she believes and she is sure that young people, like us, can make a better world even though there is a lot of tragedy.

    • I agree with what you said Lisa. I’m sure you’ll become more self-confident time after time as well as I’m sure you’ll learn to accept failures ( I prefer calling them negative feedbacks!) and not to give up.

  35. I think that the poem “Still I rise” by Maya Angelou and the final speech by Michelle Obama are both very powerful and very inspiring for ours generation because we will deal with many difficulties but we must go on and find a resolution.
    As Susanna and Riccardo said before, I think that a single person cannot change the world but we can start changing ourselves to start improving our world.
    One of my personal goals for this year is to perform at my best both at school and in my personal life because my laziness and my shyness have always influenced my choices and I have thrown away some interesting projects and occasions.

    • So, as I said before, do not set goals that are too generic but set Smart goals if you want to succeed.
      S – Specific
      M – Measurable
      A – Achievable
      R – Realistic
      T – Time oriented (with a deadline)

  36. Today I rise:

    I think people in general should be more honest, open with the other persons and change mentality. One example of this “open mind” is the issue of the immigrants, everybody might think to their conditions of poverty and about the wars that they have to tolerate and live with it. We should understand why they want escape from their country! I hope so that behaviors must be necessary changed; we need less hate, less incomprehension, and more peaceful, availability in our world.

    I also consider that we live in an age where we lost the “direct contact” by person to person. We prefer use technologies, social and media to speak and tell something to someone. Everybody could do something to improve our skills to communicate, to empathize and to have more feeling with the other person. We can do that with simply and short action everyday.

    In person I should like to improve the way I relate with other people and maybe be less shy, and be more motivated do some achievements, I rise in this way. I would like learn some new “extreme” experience like have a flight by paraglider.
    Finally I hope to succeed a journey around Europe just for visit and see new culture different between the Italian one and improve something new.

    • When you say you “should like to improve the way I relate to other people and maybe be less shy, and be more motivated”. I think you mix your nature (shy) that cannot be changed (why should it?) and your behaviour. You can act on this by setting little daily goals like: intervening during lessons even if I’m not called; approaching a friend during recess and start talking to him/her without waiting to be approached; opening up with a friend when I have a problem. Do you know what I mean? As regards motivation, you should set specific and reachable goals. As regards your last wishes … a trip is a great experience!

  37. On Monday in class we saw the short movie “Today I rise” by Alexandra Feldner. The first time we saw it without sound, in silence, it made me reflect. It was strange to see all those different pictures, but with the same deep meaning. It seemed to me that the video wanted to give a message, the power of every woman and that everyone can have with the commitment and determination, without fear. In my opinion it is important for everybody to see a short movie like this, because it is stimulating and it gives you the right energy to face the year.
    Since I was a child I had to overcome obstacles, it is a part of life. I have so many intentions for this year, I want to study everyday, cultivate new hobbies and do new adventures with my friends, I do not want to waste time and opportunities unnecessarily, but especially dedicate myself to my family and particularly to my grandfather. He does everything for me, he always gives me the right advice. Another important thing: I want to travel, discover new places, traditions… I want to see the differences that there are in other countries!
    I do not like the injustices that happen everyday in the world,but how can we make them change? The future is in the hands of young people.
    This will be a year with many efforts, but it is worth and at the end I will get great satisfaction. I have to think positive!

  38. “Today I rise” is a really inspiring and touching video, for me. It makes me think a lot about our way of life. We need to do more for our future, beginning from our studies and our education. We don’t have to give up at the first obstacle only because we think to be weak or because other influences us.
    “Something better is always possible if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it”
    As Michelle Obama said in her speech we need to believe in ourselves and don’t care about people’s opinions.
    Since the past women are considered fragile and delicate so man dominated and keep on dominating.
    Lots of them are persecuted by men but they don’t fight and leave the way as it is, because they are frightened. I think that this need to be stopped and it depends only on us.
    “I am a rebel I will wake up and fight”
    This is the phrase that every women has to take as a remark in this 2017. I wish the world will become a wonderful place, where men and women are equal in every way, and love one another for being so.
    I hope that for me this year will be full of opportunities that can be usefull for my improvement. I wish for myself to be able to reach what I want, working and studying hard. I want to be more confident and able to struggle the difficulties that life will give me.

    • Ok Francesca but you have to set Smart goals if you want to succeed.
      S – Specific
      M – Measurable
      A – Achievable
      R – Realistic
      T – Time oriented (with a deadline)

  39. I really appreciated the short movie “Today i rise”
    I watched this video three times: the first without sound as it was written in the delevery and the other two times with sound on.
    I didn’t see this video in class like my classmates but in my bed, sick, with a bit of fever and a lot of headache. I have to say that it helped me to have a bit of hope in fact after i watched the video i rised from my bed:)..
    The first time i watched this video without sound i felt full of hope and after i listened it and read the text i could understand the deep meanings.
    It is a hymn against war, racism, discrimination, violence against women, violence against homosexuals and all the kinds of violence.
    But at the same time i think that it is a hymn of joy, a hymn of hope.
    We can’t accept to live in a world full of injustice and violence.
    We have to fight against them. We can’t change the world alone, we have to do it togheter and maybe we can do it. But before thinking to change the world, we have to change ourselves. We have to study and educate ourselves to be better people. If we change ourselves, we can really change the world, togheter. I hope it and i believe it.

  40. This year is a new year not just for the number “2017”, but for my personal transformation. I’m working since last year on my selfconfidence and on my fear of… myself and of the other people. In fact when I realised what the poems talk about, I was almost forced to think about my progresses. Yes, it’s true that talk about me is still really hard, but I wanted start the new year just with positive thoughts. This year, I wanna rise.

    When we watch the video of the poem “Today, I rise” in class, it didn’t make me feel anything, like Laura said. But now, now that I’m more concentrated, I find in it a sort of ispiration.
    “Today is the day I will not sit still and give in anymore”
    Already in the beginning of the poem, I found one of my favourite quote: it’s obviously that it’s very inspiring also for those people who are maybe too much lazy to discover the world and all those little beautiful things it give us, but I think that it can be a message for everyone because, in my case for example, sometimes it’s hard to do something (also the littlest) just because we are afraid of disappoint people who believe in us.
    One of my goal for this year is to don’t be afraid of this anymore because we never fail when we try to do our duty but we always fail when we neglect to do it, and fail it’s a natural consequence to do more and more.

    It’s important to don’t give up and understand the strenght we all have.
    In fact, I know that I have to believe more in myself, in my capacities and to “try and leave this world a little better than I found it.” (Baden Powell). I won’t to stay sit doing anything for my future, for our future.

    I know that there are moments in all lives when it’s too hard hang in there,
    and even if this words are really ispiring, those are “just” words. And words are not enought to take on and overcame an obstacle. It needs a strenght that we all have to find into ourselves. This poem helped us to don’t forgive this. We have to fight for a beautiful life, not just for our but for everyone, for who is there, and for who is not yet.

    • You’ve been working on your self-confidence since last year? Well, that’s something you’ll never stop doing my dear. And it’s just great when you realize that you’ve somehow risen! First, forget the fear of disappointing the others and substitute it with disappointing yourself. This way you can ACT and overcome the fear, even when you fail. People who love you and care of you will understand and support you, no matter what. Believe in yourself but at the same time work harder and commit, commit & commit to improving.

  41. Watching the video “Today I rise” I felt proud of women all over the world, fighting to show everyone that they can do everything they want. Because being a woman is not a limitation and we deserve the same rights and possibilities that are granted for men.
    This video shows the strength of women, their power to fight and move on for everything they believe in. We don’t know what really happens in poor countries, we never hear journalists on TV talk about their horrible situation. What really amazes me after watching it is that after everything they went through, they never gave up, they never surrendered. They fight to make their sons and daughters’ world better from how it is now.
    Each day we complain about everything that goes wrong in our life, we are always more pessimistic, but if we compared our day to theirs, which one would we prefer?
    I cannot change the situations of many women living in really poor countries, but if we never talk about it, for sure nothing will ever change. We have to stand all together, stay strong and raise awareness because there’s too much indifference towards this unhappy fate.
    Thank you Prof for showing us this video, that I probably wouldn’t have ever seen. Something that I really want to improve about myself is this: start living more cheerfully, stop asking myself if what I’ve done was not how it should have been done and start enjoying what I have, because there is another world that doesn’t have any opportunities and still smiles at life. They could always complain about how unfair their life is, but they don’t, like those little girls in the video smiling at school while sitting down on the floor with only a book.
    My new resolution for 2017 in my hopeless days will be to always remember those smiles and that I will always be able to rise!

    • Jessica, knowing how committed, goodhearted and sensitive you are, your comment touched my heart. I wish you to get the emotional and intellectual reward you deserve for your daily and endless generosity and hard work. Having you in my class is always an inspiration.

  42. The speech of Michelle Obama is definitely one of the best speech I’ve ever listened. As she said, when we encounter obstacles, when we are struggling and we start thinking about giving up, we have to hope that something better is always possible if we are willing to work for it and fight for it. I think that these words transmit the meaning of one of the most important individual’s ability: resilience. Resilience is the individual’s ability to successfully adapt to life tasks in the face of difficult situations. Therefore, we have to try to change ourselves before try to change the world where we are living. Nowadays the world is ruled by terrorism, wars in name of religion, wars in name of power, discrimination and injustices but if we don’t improve ourselves and we don’t do anything the situation will not change.
    This year I hope to improve myself, I hope to discover new interesting things, I hope to go beyond every single obstacle and, last but not least, I hope to rise.

    “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.”
    Oscar Wilde

    • Definitely Francesca. I add a quote by my favourite poetess
      “We never know how high we are
      Till we are called to rise;
      And then, if we are true to plan,
      Our statures touch the skies”
      Emily Dickinson

  43. These videos made me think about the role of women in our society,they are very powerful and they are warriors in a society that sometimes trods them.Their contribute to the world. Unfurtunately some women are victims of violence,but they don’t let themselves fall and they rise,they fight to find a solution and to bring peace. I think that the video “Today I rise” can be a perfect slogan to fight the situation that now is happening and to stop this. Something that I’m really interested in is womens rights and one of my dreams would be to stop violence against women. I know that it is something that I can’t change but I hope that one day with the help of everyone this critical situation will cease. I’d like to believe more in myself and to collaborate to create a better world. Facing difficulties,I don’t want to give up but I want to fight to get what I want and fulfill my dreams.

  44. I feel that there are many aspects of me that I need to change, from my attitude and attention towards my body and general external appearance to some basic and needed aspects of my behaviour towards both people and myself, like being extremely lazy and excessively talkative. Working on these aspects of my life would mean, to me at least, that I’m finally reaching for that kind of growth and self-awareness that I feel I need to consider myself the adult and the human being I believe I am.
    I have to say that there are a lot to aspects of the society that I personally hate and feel the need to change too, from the discrimination of refugees and minorities all over the world to climate change and renewable energies. I am sure that everyone who actively lives in a modern society has got thoughts about these themes crossing his mind sometimes; however, I believe that one has to be in total peace with his own heart before anything else.
    To face the future, the difficulties and the injustices of our world one has to reach a sufficient level of self-consciousness; this would allow him to live the world his very own and sincere way, learning not to get influenced by those who want to do so on fragile minds.
    One has to have a rock-hard personality and ability of free thought and critical thinking; these need to be mastered before facing struggles and fights in the outside world which would break him into pieces if not trained successfully.
    As to conclude, I would give my very own opinion about new year’s resolutions, which are what the post is about in the end. I thought, since always, that this kind of resolutions were useless means used to push ourselves to do something that felt right to do, but abandoning them after a while being too hard to accomplish or just not being interesting anymore. I basically associated new year’s resolutions to their own necessary and unavoidable failure. But thanks to this post and the inspiring comments below it, I’m committing to get rid of this idea first, and then make myself some realistic and well-calculated commitments to accomplish in very precise times. It’s never too late for that, after all.

    • Brilliant and honest comment Cristian. There’s great literature on setting goals ( NLP) and fulfill them. As you are an extremely intelligent young man, I’m sure you’ll achieve the ones you set. 🙂
      Goals and resolutions must be SMART:
      S – Specific
      M – Measurable
      A – Achievable
      R – Realistic
      T – Time oriented (with a deadline)

  45. While I was watching this videos, I understood how many ideas I have for my 2017.
    I started the years with too many purposes, but I gave up part of them because I realized that the things aren’t so easy like they seem.
    But when I saw the last speech as First Lady of Michelle Obama (this is the video that impress me the most), I change my point of view about this new year : I want to do all the things I can do; I don’t want limits; I don’t want that nobody says me that I can’t do something; I want to be more present for my friends and my family; I want to study, laugh, read, so I want to do all the things that I like the most, this are my new goals.
    I changed because I realized that in the world there are people, like Michelle and also like you teacher, that believe in the young people, that require us to give the best, that consider us the future and for this reason they teach us that we’re worth.
    This is what I have set out for this new year and what I want to improve. I want to live my life differently and in a funny way to discover.
    I want to close my written work with a phrase of the short movie by Alexandra Feldner, but a little bit modified:” Today the young people rise” because I would like that all the younger stand up and fight for what they believe.

    • Thank you, Chiara. Keep in mind though that setting TOO MANY goals may prove frustrating because, as we are only human, it’s difficult to overcome too many limits. Limits DO exist and sometimes we should also accept them and listen to the advice of people who love us. make a list of your PRIORITIES and it’ll be much easier to fulfill your desires.Ido believe in young people like you even if, as you know, being a teacher is like being on a rollercoaster, with huge ups and downs 🙂 🙂

  46. I think videos like the one we saw Monday at school are essential for our generation because in these last centuries we did have the opportunity to see how technology is developed and get better, but we also saw how humanity for nature and people is decreased. Nowadays everybody is obsessed by money and power and forgets about feelings and nature. I am impressed by the strength and courage of Michelle Obama and Maya Angelou for their constant battle against prejudice and fear. I consider this type of women fundamental for not give up and continue to dream and hope. After seeing a video where Mata Angelou say to continue to rise, I were motivated and finally ready to reach my aims. During 2016 I lived countless adventures: I laughed, I cried, I reached and overstepped (this is negative) my goals, I gave up and I struggled again. Noe I am ready to find my poise reaching my purposes without overstated them. In conclusion, I am sure that everybody dreams to see themselves reflect in a mirror and be proud on themselves, and I really hope that one day everyone will do it.

  47. The first time that I saw the video “Today I Rise” I honestly felt a sort of anguish and pessimism, although lots of images are really positive and the poem itself instills hope messages.
    The reason of this feelings is that I cannot understand how, even in 2017, even in the 21st century, we (women all around the world) have to struggle for rights, I could say, most of the time such basic, that should belong to every single one of us.
    But what can we do to improve this situation? Well, for my part, I’ll, first of all, commit to teach my future son (or, in general, teach men) to have more respect for women; also speak about it with our friends or (even better) with those people who have a different idea from ours are all important ways to get better this state.
    But not only to them. I think that another big problem is that lots of women don’t respect themselves. Sometimes they are forced to succumb and sometimes they blame themselves that what happens is for their cause. At this point let me say something: women are warriors. We have always been warriors. We are the ones that even in the most horrible situation have the courage and the ability to say: I can do it. So let’s start to demonstrate it to the world!

    • Yes rightly said. Check this Storyteller d’bi.young anitafrika who uses the art of dub poetry to weave a story of childhood sexual abuse and HIV in this beautifully intense performance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSyFtzZikb0
      I end by quoting Alice Walker, to support what you just wrote: “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”

  48. Despite all the dreadful things we could change in the world, I think we need to start changing what is wrong with ourselves.
    My main thought is the relationship I have with my parents. One of my big fears is that we will loose touch once I grow up and I feel powerless. It shouldn’t be difficult to just say “hey mum, how are you?” but still I never do that.
    I thought about this topic because I see it as something that I would like to change, that I could change, but also that maybe will never be like every normal relationship between parents and their sons and daughters. It’s like a big question mark!
    The poem also made me think about the song “The dark side of the moon” by Machine Gun Kelly, one of my favourite songs. In particular, the beginning:

    «The dark side of the moon looks like an only child who can’t fit into place
    The dark side of the moon looks like a single mother bruises on her face
    The dark side of the moon looks like somebody’s sister yelling out “rape”
    The dark side of the moon is eminent because you can’t escape fate»

    Another song by MGK that expresses a similar meaning is “A little more”:
    “I had a dream that the world changed
    And for a minute there was no pain
    Instead of presidents and old sayings
    I heard lyrics from Kurt Cobain
    Then I wake up to see the world’s ill
    Oceans tainted from the oil spills
    How many kids have these wars killed?
    How many families can’t afford bills?
    I wish that I could let the world know
    That it’s okay to let the pain show
    And even though times seem bad
    It always rains before the rainbow
    You can give up like they tell you
    Stop like they tell you
    Be scared to dream for the top like they tell you
    But I’m tryna tell you, fuck what they tell you
    And in these dark times, as a part of a generation they claim can’t be saved, it’s important to know we’re not blind, we see the truth through blue and dark eyes, and I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees if I can’t live free. Right now in the world we just need a little more love.”

    I think the need of love is common all over the world, and that it is also the solution to all the evil and the wrong we see every day.

    • Thank you so much, Adele, for your beautiful comment. I checked the songs and the first reminds me of some tracks by Linking Park. They take after them. I like the song and the lyrics.
      Did you know that he made his national debut with the single “Alice in Wonderland”? What a coincidence with your presentation!

  49. Everyday there are people that suffer for different forms of violence, but I think that life is ours and it is made up by our choices. Therefore I believe that anyone can reach their dreams with hard work and determination because I consider that difficulties are in the everyday life of all of us.
    For the new year I want to accept my limits and mistakes without always blaming other people. I want to be more patient with my family, my friends and my boyfriend and try to understand that they only care for me.
    I want to go back to the gym, because before and after my operation I stopped practicing any sport and I feel that It is not a good thing for my body. In fact sports improves my concentration and makes me less stressed by school.
    In conclusion my purpose for the new year is to live my life in peace,
    taking the cue from failures, and believing in myself.

  50. I started this school year full of good intentions: study hard, good marks and a happy life. When I started to take bad marks I let myself go and I fell in a sort of depression.
    I didn’t know if I really wanted to continue, but I did it because my family and my girlfriend were trying to stay near me and help me. I haven’t listened to them, I don’t know why, really. All I wanted was Holydays, I needed some rest to think and relax.
    During my Holydays I thought about all. I decided to try to restart better , but I wasn’t really sure about that. When I read “Today I rise” I felt something, I think it was the strength and the courage I needed to revive from this bad period and go ahead. I really feel better with myself, I thank my teacher Cimetta for showing me this poem. Now I really want to do my best, and show to everyone that I can do it! I’m full of energy, and now I’m ready, I believe in myself.

    • Roberto, it’s about time now to show YOURSELF FIRST (then your family, girlfriend & teachers) that you can COMMIT and overcome your inertia & negligence. Of course, things cannot improve in a whiff, it needs time, and if you get further bad marks, you must KEEP ON working hard and never give up. Promise? I’m sure you’ll feel at peace with yourself and satisfied with your efforts.
      Keep these quotes in mind ( I wrote them down in my booklet)
      – You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you want to go to bed with satisfaction.
      – Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.
      – Courage is very important. Like a muscle, it is strengthened by use.

  51. When we saw the video for the first time in class without sound my first thought was that all over the world there are too many people that endure injustices every day, not only women but also children and men who are often submitted. So in my opinion, thinking about something that I would like to change, the human thought should change! Often we don’t appreciate what surround us cause “we see it everyday” or because we want always something more. I think we should learn to value the little thing that we do and we should learn that we can’t have all immediately, maybe we shouldn’t waste our time to criticized the other people or something that isn’t so right but we should improve it.
    And that’s what I want to do this year. I will not spend all the time criticizing what I don’t like or what isn’t right for me but instead try to improve it cause I think that is a good way also to improve myself. I know that it isn’t so easy but I will try to do it.

    • Good resolution. Spending time criticising and complaining is a waste of precious ENERGY, and it’d be far better to act to change what we dislike.

  52. This amazing video shows the determination and power of girls, but it was encouraging for everyone. This video made me think about my life, my attitude that isn’t alway nice and my mood sometimes I look like a zombie because I’m lazy and tired to go to school for example, but I forget how lucky I am because I have a fantastic family and fantastic friends, I have a house, I can do sports and meet with my friends…but nowadays it isn’t very certain, but we think that is the normality.
    Sometimes I shout to my parents and not everything I say “thanks “…
    When I reflect about this it is too late and and I feel bad.
    I also would like to improve at school because I am too lazy…and my attitude sometimes is like the attitude of a 9 years old kid…

  53. Connecting “Still I rise” to my daily life, there are some parts that make me think a lot. In my opinion everyone would like to change something negative in the world, for example stopping war, racism, women violence… I have focused myself in the sentence “I don’t care if you ignore my beauty”. When I read it, I immediately started to think about how much superficiality we have in the world. There are cases of men who concentrate themselves only on aesthetically aspects, without considerating how women are inside, and sometimes the most beautiful ones are the most shallow. I can’t accept it because lot of “beautiful women” damage their life, infact they’re so popular that they have a swollen head,without noticing it. I would like that this aspect of life could be different, maybe trying to make “superficial people” think that world isn’t only beauty,I mean outward appearance, but there are lot of fondamental values like RESPECT, HONESTY, HELPFULLNESS… I would like to say also that at the beginning of the poem we can read “Today is the day I will not sit still and give in anymore… I am bruised, but I will get up and walk again”. Reading these words, I’ve immediately thought about women violence, which today has become a daily problem. It is something I’d like to commit to, also because I am a woman and it is normal if I am afraid that one day I could live the same tragedy of thousand and thousand women. Women have a big value in the society and they aren’t less important than men. When they’re victims of violence, they have to put out their courage to report the “author” of the tragedy, even if sometimes they’re afraid by his reaction. I think governments, laws… should protect them. I’d like to commit to make this message as popular as possible, to save lifes, without giving in anymore, and than to help people who has lived and suffered the same as the others. Finally I think that every problem has a solution even if sometimes we don’t find it. For me life is a challenge, so if you fall you will rise again.

    • valentina, your comments are always so deep! Right today I read of the “trash tv program” by Barbara D’urso where she said that “too much love make men aggressive”. That’s unacceptable! I paste here the link of my 3C students’ video on that issue. I’m sure you’ll like it. https://youtu.be/SNIspMxYEl8

  54. “TODAY I RISE”. What a wonderful sentence! It is full of hope in the future and above all in ourselves. Thank you for sharing this movie with us, especially in this moment, after the Christmas holidays when all students need a lot of motivation. The words of the movie are amazing and when I listened and read them I immediately thought that I have to say them more frequently to have an incentive in my life. The most of the time I complain about my life, because it is only made up of school, study at home and volleyball trainings. I often study at night and I don’t like it because I rarely sit down on the sofa with my family and I would like to find a moment for myself, in which I can read or walk my dog for hours, hang out with my friends or help my mother with the housework more than now. But I can change this situation and I think I only need motivation, the same motivation of the movie. The day is made of so many hours and if I want to do all those things I can do them. In the future I would like to motivate myself knowing that in difficult moments of the life everybody can rise.

    • Complaining is harmful but the spare-time activities you mention, should be a normal right at your age. I’m sorry you deprive yourself of those pleasure but I’m sure that you’ll find a way to integrate them in your daily life; start by doing one of them at a time. Feasible?

  55. When I watched this short movie without sound, I felt like the images hadn’t an encouraging or positive message and it all didn’t make sense but then when I rewatched it with the lyrics I changed my opinion.
    I believe that “Today I rise” is not just a simple poem, it’s a tribute for all the women all over the world! The message is that the women have to stand up, fight together and believe in theirselves because we have to go on and persist to enforce our rights.
    Plus I think that this video tries to make us remind that we can do whatever we want if we really do want.
    I really can’t stand men who believe that a woman has to stay home, clean, cook and take care of the kids without having a single moment for herself. Let me tell you something: if this is your mindset your whole life is a lie.
    By the way, a new year has just began and I really hope that it will be an awesome year full of great things and great improvements.

    • Well,I must object when you say “we can do whatever we want if we really do want” that it is not always so, as sometimes there are limits beyond our will and we’d better accept and come to terms with them.

  56. I believe that we live in a world full of injustice. Many people don’t even know if the next day will be still alive. How can we define it “life”?
    Many women risk everyday to be killed by the men who they once loved.
    Nowadays people kill for trivial reasons: racism, selfishness or because they don’t accept events. Why this? How could all of this be resolved?
    I think that an important step could be speak more about this themes, at school too. We are poorly informed, and we know that the ignorance never leads to anything good.
    How does a woman prevent violence? And then, is it possible?
    How can we make people understand that in this world we are all equal? It doesn’t matter if a person is black, white, yellow, red, green or blue, we are always people!
    I hope to see soon a world full of peace and tolerance, and without violence e injustices.
    This is the world that I would like.

    • Me too Luna but know it’s your turn, as a young person, to work hard to see soon a world full of peace and tolerance, and without violence e injustices.

  57. I want to start doing my compliments to the poetess Maya Angelou for the impressing poem ‘Still I Rise’ and for her interpretation: slowly, allowing us to taste the lyric, pained with her deep tone of voice and her face’s expressions but at the same time full of hope and desire to do not give up rising again and again.
    This poem fits perfectly with my New Year’s resolution that it’s finally different from the past last years: I want to commit myself to be more enterprising and active in all the things, interesting or not, making every day worth living, never giving up and always with a smile on the face. Right now I don’t know if I will manage to mantain my purpose, but at least I am trying!
    And last but not least, the things that I would like to change about me! These are so much but I thought I can just start by focusing on my new year’s resolution and then work to improve myself on my failures and on the other aspects.
    Watching the short movie ‘Today I rise’, I develop totally different feelings: from straying to find a logical thread, from the feeling of power in my hands to the idea of the countless limits that alone we’ll never overcome, from the protection of a mother to the fear in a war. I really fancied the video because it pushes you to bring out the best in you and to reflect on your life.

    • I’m so happy you appreciated the nuances of meaning and the beauty of those poems. You have a great sensitivity Sabrina and you should build on it. Never, ever stop trying and smiling.

  58. Personally I found “Today I rise” very fascinating and full of meanings that we already said in classifica.
    Reconnecting this short poem to my daily life I think that there are a lot of things that I cannot accept the way they are, some of them cannot be changed, but others are changable, forse example my method of study is good for me, but the time that I spent studying could be more and much more worthing.
    Talking about my future, looking towards the exams and the University I’d like ti chiede a faculty good for me and that I like, I even want to continue playing football, bit it isn’t easy, because trainings take time and the weekends, in particular Sundays, that I would pass with my family and must friends, would be occupated by the matchday of championship and for me is difficult ti choose between my friends/family and sport.

    • It’s just a matter of choices and priorities Luca. Write down all pros and cons and then make your choice, keeping in mind that it’s hard to have it all at the highest level. Next time before posting, check what you’ve written and edit it ( hurry? carelessness? distraction? this can be easily improved 🙂

  59. It might sound simple “Today I Rise”, but it’s not.
    Everyday people all over the world fight against their problems, some bigger than others; We live in a world full of difficulties like war or pollution and, of course, a single person can’t stop it.
    But, like Susanna said before, We can start improving ourselves, day to day, for a better world.
    Personally, one of my greatest defect is that I can’t do my best, in nothing, at school in particular, I could give a lot, but for some unknown reasons I can’t give the 100% of my capacities. I want to rise in this sense, motivating myself, finding motivations and use all my potentialities.
    Even if It’s not the first time I’m trying to do this, I won’t give up, and soon or later I will rise.

    • The unknown reason is … you’re lazy and you can make it anyway, as simple as that. As you said you now should aim for the stars, not for the horizon, and I’m sure you’ll stretch your great brain a little bit more. I promise you that the feeling of satisfaction you’ll get is GREAT!!!

  60. The things that I want to change are so much that I can’t even imagine…I want to change myself, my thoughts and my weaknesses…I’d like to improve at school but also at home, I’d like to RISE…

    When this year the school started, I felt like something in me has changed, positively but also negatively, I felt like I’m going to give up… for all this time I was hoping that nothing has changed but it’s impossible to deny what’s happening. I really want to continue studying but I feel like that everything I do is useless, like breathing in a huge ocean… obviously I will keep my smile and my hope with me because if I lost them, I will lose all…

    I really appreciated the short movie “Today, I rise” but also his messages because it can be applied to more aspects of life; every single sentence gives you a strong impact and it makes you think about your human being and be part of humanity. “Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?” it’s written in the text but I don’t have any answer because I know that my body is here but my soul and my mind are from another side…

    Smile Lisa, smile until you can and don’t give up because your dream is to make others smile, to make them feel better even when they are in a bad mood or are going to give up.

    Alone I will be weak but “I’m a rebel and I will wake up and fight”!

    • Lisa, never ever think of giving up because prof cimy will chase you everywhere!! You’ve done tremendous improvements in these four years, I’ve seen a great change for the better. You must be aware of that. three years ago you weren’t able to write such a beautiful comment and now you are! Your smile is contagious and you know how much I do appreciate it but it cannot come at the expense of your own happiness. When you’re sad or feel like drowning in that ocean, promise me that you’ll ask for help because that’s what friends (you helped and made happy with your smile)are for!

      • Thank you so much prof because your lessons are one of the most I really enjoy and proud to be part of it. Your strength and positivity makes the path strewed with roses though they were strewed with thorns…thank you so much

  61. The poem “Today I rise” didn’t transmit me much emotions but I was inspired from “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. I want to start my personal comment with a quote from the latter poem:
    ” You may shoot me with your words,
    you may cut me with your eyes,
    you may kill me with your hatefulness,
    but still, like air, I’ll rise”.
    During the last years I have given a lot of relevance on what I was said by the others, but this year, I want to rise and overcame my fear for judges.
    Another purpose that I want to fulfill is to do everything at the best of my possibilities, starting from the school, where I’m never ever 100% happy of my results. I think that I might became more confident because other people notice it, and it would be much easier to have my opinions heard and get ahead at school. A good dose of self-confidence will help me lead a much happier life overall.

    • Perfectionism is a good thing but it must be kept under control. Isn’t it odd that you gave me the impression of being extremely self-confident and I’d have never imagined you considered yourself afraid of other people’s judgments/opinions?


    The first time I read the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, I started thinking at who I am and if there are things that I cannot accept about myself or something that I like to improve about my personality.
    First I took in exam my character, thinking that I can improve it in a better way. Normally I am a person who doesn’t like to have many friends because I’m not able to give confidence to many people. I’m scared of them because I think that one time that they are satisfacted, they can leave me alone.
    I think that if I find the right group of friends that help me to take confidence with more people, in future I can be friendly with lot of people without being scared.
    I cannot accept that someone use your feelings like something that you can throw away whenever you want and I also cannot accept fake friends, they are the worst person that you can meet. They use you and when they don’t need you anymore, they abandoned you, without caring if you were affectionate at them.
    Personally I don’t know how this situation can change, is in every person the will of change, you can’t decide for them.
    I don’t want to spend my life running behind people that don’t care about me, so this is why I want rise. I want to become more secure of me and of my abilities.
    I’m definitely an insecure person and I want to change this aspect of my personality with the help of some real friends.
    I want real friends that love me in the way I am and don’t want to change me because they think I am a wrong person and I’m not as perfect as them. I don’t want to change me for others, I want to change a bit my character because I know myself but I don’t want that someone tell me that I have to change because he/she doesn’t like me for what I am now.

    • Your search for self-confidence and the right friends, who do not take advantage of your trust but support you and love you the way you are, is a truly human need we all have, more than ever when you’re young. Nobody has the right to change you, neglect you, give up on you. You’re a wonderful young woman and just by being true to yourself and your values, you’ll find what you’re looking for. I promise! Should some fake friends disappoint you … you’ve always got your horse! (Just joking!)

  63. Something I cannot understand is why sometimes people behave rudely and impolitely with me without any evident reason: I mean people I know, relatives, friends and strangers. If a person has had a bad day or is not in a postive mood that shouldn’t allow him to ruin one’s temporary joy and amusement
    For example, if a person asked someone for help, the other one should give a hand without complaining and showing boredom; I am sure that the one who needs help would rather try to solve the problem by himself than with a listless and annoying assistant. If someone went in a shop to buy something, the shop assistent should be professional and help him with enthusiasm and shouldn’t try to do his task as quickly as he can without respecting the customer.
    I know it is not simple to hide our sadness, sorrow, pain and other negative feelings and that I might be too sensitive in this aspect and I should accept everybody’s mood regardless (because all in all it is a temporary state caused by negative events in most of the cases), but I am sure that if everyone paid attention to this point of view, the lifes of all of us would be better and filled with joy and respect for others.
    I am unfortunately aware that this is only a proposal and it will stay so anyway, because not all the people feel the necessity to change this state of things. As Alessandra said, <>. In fact, every day I try to fulfill this promise with the aim to make happier people around me so that they can make my day in turn.

    • Dear Carlo, the reason why people behave like that is their lack of compassion, empathy and emotional intelligence, all things that you have developed and nourished in these years. Being sensitive, as you are, is a great strength and never allow anybody to let you believe it’s not so! Keep on being the way you are because people who care about you will make your day.

  64. “Today I Rise” didn’t have a really great impact on me as much as the poem by Maya Angelou (which I found fantastic) has, however I do think I can learn and have learnt something from it. That is, first of all, to try and have higher self confidence, because no matter how things go, I can rise again, I can do what I want because I am much stronger than I think and I shouldn’t let anything bring me down. I personally think this is a very valid message since I guess we all underestimate our capabilities from time to time. This poem also reminded me of another marvelous poem we analysed together and that I have thoroughly enjoyed, titled “Invictus”. I truly cannot say I didn’t appreciate these poems because, at least according to my own interpretation and considering my very pessimistic mindset, I think I found an optimistic message lying within those empowering words, and while that maybe didn’t change my attitude towards everything I do, it surely made me think about it and I hope that soon a change will come. So that would be my “resolution”, if you will, one thing that I can change about myself and I’ll try to commit to make it happen. I think starting from myself is surely a good way to improve the general environment I’m in ( I never really liked Micheal Jackson that much, but his lyrics “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make the change” are very fitting and express exactly what I was trying to say). Other things I will try to commit to are definitely to try and evaluate myself in everything I do so that I can be my best self, and also raise my awareness, start reading newspapers and be informed in general, so that I can know which battles are worth fighting for to really make a change, not only for myself but for everyone experiencing that same issues I do, and by doing that I’m sure I would have a higher consideration of myself.
    So in the end, to sum up my goals I think I can say I’m aiming to improve myself to improve the world, and it might sound ambitious but I’m hopeful and won’t give up easily this time 🙂

    • Yes! had forgotten about Invictus. Your decision to raise your awareness by reading newspapers and getting well-informed on current events is more that right and just the first step toward social commitment. I have no doubts you won’t give up easily, knowing how stubborn and resolute you are 🙂

  65. I appreciated a lot Michelle Obama’s speech, she said very impressive things and it made me think that there is still someone who believes in us young and who hopes that we will change this world full of injustices and pain.
    What I can say about the video “Today I rise” is that it is a very strong message for women. All we are not only sensitive, kind, fragile and affectionate; we also have a strength that allows us to become courageous, determined and self-confident. And given that intelligence is our strong point, we must be aware that we are worth and that we can not be treated in certain ways. Violence against women is certainly one of the things we have to change over the years.
    For this reason, in this new year, I’m going to devote the time to myself, to be happy and relaxed, to understand what and who I really need, to focus on what I really like, to learn something new, to change some bad habits, to become a better person in all meanings, to live every second with pleasure and of course, to have a lot of fun with my friends and my family.

  66. First of all, I would say thank you for choosing such an amazing way to start the New Year, in a period of time where young people, especially in Italy, are often belittled and knocked down by media who present our country as the last place where to build our great future.
    I find Michelle Obama so inspiring every time she speaks; it is not common to find someone committed to the job in the way she is, and at the same time very “human” in transmitting strenght and hope to the americans.
    When I recollected my feelings at home, I tought that I could have written a comment in an academic way, something that I’ve always been good at, talking about abstract ideals, creating one of those discussion where quoting from every famous author and saying many great things, but at the end finding myself just holding many empty words.
    Then I looked at the task you assigned us, and I decided it was time for me to express myself for good.
    Some months ago, I learnt from an episode what really matters in my life. This can be probably inadequate considering what I’ve just written, but “Growing” is not a spontaneous process and I admit that I changed my attitude just after something really intense hit my life, slapping my face so strongly to destroy most of my certaintes.
    I’ve always been one of the best students in my class, I’ve been working hard for years, turning up offers of my friends who wanted me to go out with them or just to have a short conversation, because I needed time to focus on my homework or planning what I was about to study next. I don’t consider myself as a school-addict, and I don’t feel ashamed when I say that I just have two or three hours a day to study during the afternoon, because I practice a sport which takes away much of my already short afternoons, but I’ve always been committed to my studies in order to be great.
    I’ve always considered school as the first of my tasks, followed by basketball and my other hobbies. But I was forgetting something too important to be left aside: family.
    I looked back at my past years and I must admit that in too many cases I took my relatives from granted: I love my two grandmothers, but History or Philosophy tests were more important than a chat with them; I love my grandfather but Math’s problems needed to be solved before the next day, and he could have waited one day more!
    Always being in a hurry, in a school system where being the most efficient student is fundamental, was stealing too much of my time and slowly ruining my relationship with my family and with my friends. As a young woman facing the adults’ world, I want to take my time to dedicate myself to what really matters. My wish for the 2017 is to find an equilibrum between my beloved and my responsibilities; it will be my “Year of Balance”, so that this year I will rise!

    • Giorgia, your comment has opened my heart and I thoroughly subscribe to what you’ve written. I’ve also struggled since the times of Liceo, to balance my emotional life and my academic career. I’ve often made choices for the sake of my personal relationships but, so far, I’ve never regretted them. I wish you, from the bottom of my heart, to find that delicate BALANCE; sometimes it will imply some sacrifices but it’s worth! Thank you for having chosen to “express yourself”.

  67. When I saw the video “Today I rise” for the first time, I immediately grasped the message of hope for a better future.
    So, like the women of different origins, races, thoughts, we can see in the short movie , I think I deserve a happy future where I can make my dreams come true, but in order to do this I am of the opinion that there are a lot of things to change not only in my life, but also in the society we live.
    Nowadays are showed in our world more and more hard situations we have to face up to, for example terrorism, poor nutrition, economic crisis, and only if we put all our effort together, we fight together against the problems, we can solve them. Therefore I want to be active in the life of my country helping who need it, joining the different organizations present in my town. To live the best I can I should also do the littlest and most simple gestures, such as help my mom cleaning the house or cooking, play with my sister, even if I’m not in the mood.
    Another New Year’s resolution is to always be myself and to learn to live with all my values and flaws, without make suffer whoever love me and support me.
    Like Chiara said, 2017 is an important year and I want to do my best to take the right decisions, not wasting time, but taking advantage of the situations that I have to face.
    I want to finish with the words said by the philosopher Zygmunt Bauman, dead yesterday:”We’ve been brought up by marketing, by advertising … to think about happiness as an uninterrupted row of better and better pleasures.”
    It’s impossible to be happy without deal with difficult moments, because it is from them that we grow up and we understand who we are.

    • yes Elisa and I want to add another important quote by Bauman “Why do I write books? Why do I think? Why should I be passionate? Because things could be different, they could be made better”. Be yourself with your values and flaws and I’m sure you won’t make anyone you love suffer.

  68. When we saw in class the short movie ‘Today, I Rise’ by Alexandra Feldner and analyzed the poem “Still I rise” by Maya Angelou I felt hopeful and unshakeable. Reading it better I felt almost a sense of anxiety and fear, frightened by the future and scared of not being “strong” enough.

    It’s true there are many things that are wrong in the world, such as war, injustice, violence, but right now we can’t change these things. But, in my opinion, we can change ourselves, in our small way. This poem is a hymn of hope for many women and for many people. For me it wasn’t just words of hope but true words of strength to face my future head-on. Maybe that’s what I would like to realize from this new year: face future decisions with determination, without fear and without being influenced by the opinion of others.

    It will be a busy year, full of emotions and I hope to live it to the fullest. I hope to be able to overcome the various obstacles that will arise in my way, and if this doesn’t happen, I hope to get up steadfast than before. I think it’s easier to complain about everything and everyone and it’s much more difficult do your best and change something we do not like. Is much easier to face the world with a pout and it’s more difficult but more beautiful do this with a smile.

    • Facing future decisions with determination, without fear and without being influenced by the opinion of others, is all in your power and since you are a very determined young woman, I’m sure you’ll overcome those obstacles that may hinder your progress. Keep it up and keep on smiling 🙂 (That’s what I do too, every day)

  69. Watching the film and hearing the words I had two opposite reactions: on one hand, I felt powerful, aware of the potential we all have, on the other hand, I admit I felt useless or worthless in a world full of energetic people fighting to become better or to allow others to achieve goals.
    I think I felt that way because, as others already said, sometimes you may have the impression of wasting your time, of not committing fully, and, in my case, it may really be true since I’m a very lazy person.
    Taking things for granted is the first step to resignation and a defeat, somehow.
    This year I want to rise and value every single emotion, gesture, opportunity. I don’t want to wait to become old to understand how much I underestimated my chances.
    When we first talked of rising up in class I immediately thought of a song by Eddie Vedder appeared in the movie Into the wild, “Rise”, that ends with the lines “Gonna rise up, find my direction magnetically, gonna rise up, throw down my ace in the hole”.
    I would sincerely like to write a comment about how I feel disgusted by terrorism, by child labour, by injustices in general, but they are issues bigger than me and I wouldn’t really know where to start.
    This year I want to rise putting more effort in what I do and in my dreams. This year will be an important step of our lives, we will have to take a stand, choose and not passively being chosen anymore. I hope that none of us will waste any opportunity given and find our personal way to rise.

    • Wow Chiara, I had forgotten that awesome song (singer & movie!!).Your comment is very deep and honest. I’m sure that effort you mention, will allow you to find your path and fulfill some of your dreams!

  70. I always expect better results in all fields of my life and I constantly want to be more successful in whatever I do (relationships, career, personal aims).

    Clearly, it’s usually difficult and demanding to get the results we want, therefore if we don’t succeed in our prearranged goals, we need to change the way we do things.
    With regard to this, I would like to quote Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.

    Although I often consider myself to be almost always on the top of my class and ability owing to my high self-esteem, my great self-confident personality and even my daily life which gives me constantly a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, many aspects should be changed by me.

    For instance, some days I don’t work intense enough and I should increase my work intensity as well as my focus and energy in doing my tasks to produce more in a given period of time.
    I should also put relationships as my top priority, since I often attach much more importance to my own tasks and objectives, putting wrong priorities above them.

    Leaving my individual situation, I am aware many things nowadays are totally unacceptable, as some people already said in the previous comments. However, I personally maintain I cannot make a substantial difference towards these matters, but this is a standpoint I would like to change of my personality, in that I too often think only for myself and only about my individual world, forgetting the real problems of society which should be currently faced from everyone.

    Fortunately, thanks to the great and solid education given by my family, I understood what we can concretely do to help someone who lives tragic realities, for example supporting international medical humanitarian organisations such as Doctors Without Borders or also charitable organisations (Save The Children, Amref Health Africa), sending monthly a sum of money, as my parents do.

    • I really appreciate your lucid self-analysis and am glad that you’ve realized the importance of relationships and of being less self-centered. With the support of the others, teamwork, and generosity, we can reach the sky!

  71. I found this video really inspiring and motivating, the line I liked the most is “I will walk my path with audacity” because this is what I should work on in order to change it; I tend to underestimate myself and to not do because I don’t believe in my capacities. It’s something I want to improve, to change because I must be courageous and trust myself and my capacities and live this life conscious of them. This is my wish for 2017, this is the change I have to make; in my little life I’ve understood that some things can not be changed, some relationships can not be changed, some people and situations can not be changed, the only thing you can change is yourself and changing yourself can make the difference for the world that sorrounds you. I also must transform my anger into power and i must stop procrastinating, this is the only life I have and I have to do my best, for me and for the others.

    • Anger, if not solved or turned into positive action or creativity, can poison our life. So what you said is absolutely right. Starting now 🙂

  72. “Today I rise” is not just a poem, it is a tribute for all the women who had to stand up and fight, recover, believe in the power they had after all the bruises they had to suffer.
    This hymn includes all the women that decided to rise, despite the pain and the sadness. For the women that had to hide what  they really were, hiding their faces and their heart, because of fear.
    There are so many things I would like to change. Some of them concern myself and my personality, others  the world and society.
    I know that some things will never change, such as death and time. I would like to stop the quick passing of time to appreciate more what I have, and to believe for one instant that some things will never change.
    The things I would like to change are so many.
    If I could change the world, probably everybody would have a meal in front of them everyday.
    There wouldn’t be people escaping from their country because of wars, nor people who are afraid of not paying hush money. Women would be treated the same way men are, and would be free to wear a veil or not. People would share, love, care for one another, instead of attacking and bullying each other.
    Justice would be our religion, and people would be free of becoming who they always wanted to be. Politicians would work not for money, but for the wellness of their citizens. Countries wouldn’t exist, neither boundaries.     
    There are some things I could change in my everyday life, such as reducing my impact in the environment, or help people who need it, or if there is an injustice I should talk.  
    If I could change or improve my lifestyle I would stop being so anxious, and feel more confident of my ideas. I should fear less the consequences of my actions and live my life as free as possible. I should stop feeling powerless and be more proud of my work.

    • Federica, I’ve known you for a few years, and, reading this comment of yours – already an achievement since you posted it among the first and didn’t have to ask you the paper version 😉 – I can tell you that you’ve already achieved some of your goals and I’m extremely proud of you! Day by day you’ve turned into a compassionate young woman who’ll definitely do great things to improve the world. I mean it!

  73. When we did the first English lesson of 2017, I had many thoughts on my mind. I have always hated when someone tried to make me see things in a positive way, because i thought I could never be optimistic. This time, though, it was different. I started 2017 with the goal of trying to be more positive, and I managed to keep the new year’s resolution for more than a week (it never happened to me, I’m impressed). So I have been able to deal with the topic of the lesson like never before: I really loved Michelle Obama’s speech, her message of hope made me feel inspired, instead of skeptical. Therefore this year I’m really into being resolute, maybe a little more confident, and try to be less stressed. I would also like to find some time for myself, and understand that sometimes it is okay to take a nap, or rest reading a book, for example. At the same time, however, I hope I will be more active, because I recognize I can be very lazy, and this thing definitely has to stop.
    In conclusion, I am starting more focused, inspired, and a little more joyful (thanks to the holidays). One thing is certain though: I will take more naps 🙂

    • Music to my ears Margy!! When I see you smiling and active in class it’s just magic. Of course, things can’t be expected to turn out right every time as we are only human – some moodier than others 😉 – but I hope with all my heart that you’ll manage to keep your resolutions muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch loooooooooooooooooooooooonger!

  74. Last summer I started to change because I didn’t feel satisfied with myself, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for me and I couldn’t achieve my goals too.
    Then someday I began thinking of my situation and after that,different solutions came to my mind:I could just give up and live my life like I was doing, try to improve a little more or best of all try to rise up and ,if possible,overcome my limits.
    So I chose the last one. Now I can say that I have only moved few steps but step after step you can go far. What you need is just believe in you and repeat to yourself that is possible and if you believe it enought you’ll probably succeed.
    Of course life isn’t a picnic but mistakes and obstacles are necessary to grow up. Up to now I’m proud of what I chose.

    • I love your “life isn’t a picnic” and I’m very proud of your determination and resilience. I’ve already seen the change this year 🙂

  75. I like the video by Alexandra Fendner because I think that it is important that sometimes someone reminds me that I can do whatever I want if I really want something and if I work hard (as the firstlady Michelle Obama said) than I will achieve maybe all my dreams. I believe also that whatever I wanna change about my life, I have to start changing it now and I have to see every single moment as an opportunity to better myself. I also wanna try to think that I don’t have to ask me what I want to be in 2017 or what I wanna do and only wishing something, but if I want something I have to go and get it and stop waiting around because I have to take action. I wanna try to think also that negative mind will never give me a positive life. I don’t wanna make the same mistake of 2016 when my minds were completely negative so I want to believe in myself a little bit more and, considering my persistent insecurity about everything I do, my major goal of 2017 is put me into play because I think that I need to change something in my life.

    • As you said Anna, the key to success is a “positive” frame of mind. If you take a challenge & put yourself on the line, believing in what you do, sooner or later (sometimes not immediately but we need to be patient) You’ll find your self-confidence and great satisfactions.

  76. Starting the new year it’s a fantastic possibility to improve some of the aspects that ruined my 2016… In this new year I absolutely want to face my difficulties and some failures that have splintered my heart and shaped my personality. Watching this film has been very useful in my opinion, because it shows the power of women, how can we fight against violence, how can we fight for human rights and how can we arrive in top of the world with everyday’s struggles. When we saw the video without sound it filled me up with a sort of innate positivity, with a a brave emotion that leads me to improve the world and other wrong considerations. But when I heard the words of the film I understood the real meaning. I hope that we won’t give up to battle for a better world, without wars, crisis, corruption, crime and other bad aspects of life in this world. This year I have sworn to enhance my kindness and my behaviour with some people. I want to mantain my vows and I especially aspire on reflecting more about some mistaken decision of 2016. I wish that this 2017 will be a nice year and a opportunity to redeem myself.

    • “enhance my kindness and my behaviour with some people”: what a lovely resolution! I’m sure you’ll stick to it as you’re a strong and determinate girl 🙂

  77. “Today I rise” made me especially focused on the power of women and our incredible strength but in the video there are some pictures that show us also the pain of the women due to the violence, I cannot accept that still nowadays women must fight against violence and there is always much more violence in this world. “I’m a child” , three words of this poem that give us an incredible message: there is a time to be child and all of us must have the possibility to spend this time as child, I cannot accept that there are place in this world where the children work and they are abused.
    We have the power to change our future and we must use this power to fight against violence, poverty, child labour that are big issues but we must also use this power to make our life better.
    Personally I believe, as Abigail said, that I can’t make a big different today but I can start from my daily life to change something bigger: I can study and research.
    A new year is a new possibility, my biggest resolution is to find a university that made me help in some ways the others and try to contribute to change step by step little negative things in this world. I have also others resolutions like spend my life doing what I really want and try to be happy always, I can’t accept to be sad and “I will no longer disguise my sadness and pain”. I must be determinated and focused on my resolutions. I would also especially improve my lifestyle and spend my free time in a better way and lose no time.
    I would like that everyone remember to “wake up and fight” to a better world, that’s one way to rise.

    • I’m sure you’ll find the right university that will make you somehow useful to the others. I just disagree when you say “try to be ALWAYS happy” as this is not something achievable. Instead, we should learn to accept the ups and downs and keep in mind that, as Blake said: without contraries there’s no progression” 🙂

  78. Personally I appreciate a lot what we did in class because at the beginning, when we watched this movie without sound, I couldn’t relate the images with a positive or an encouraging message but the text defenitively changed my opinion. I think that this short movie by Alexandra Feldner is a source of inspiration that should be shared because in difficult moments people need motivation to continue their struggle and overcome obstacles.
    Expecially in this moment, people of all the world are dealing with huge problems and need to be encouraged.
    If I think about my life I uderstand that I’m very lucky and that I’m wasting my time not putting enough effort on what I do.
    I know that I can do more and I don’t want to waste the opportunities that my parents give me. School is one of them and usually I take it for granted, and shouldn’t be so. The message that this movie instill, gave me the desire to cange, I want to be more positive, to accept myself and be more extroverted. I want to work hard to finish this year in the best way, I wish to have positive memories of my last months in high school, because after that will begin a new chapter of our life and I do not want to have regrets.

    • You won’t waste your time if you commit. You said “I want to be more positive, to accept myself and be more extroverted.” This is a bit vague and not measurable. Why don’t you give yourself some little and easier golas so that you can fulfill them step by step & little by little? E.G: write down 2 positive events per day; one quality ayou have a day. Then is it really necessary to be extroverted if it’s not in your nature? Sure it’ll make you happier?

  79. Valuing honesty, courage and skeptical thought, I cannot but abhor every attempt at dishonest discourse, gutless compliance and uncritical adherence on behalf of any one person. I perceive it as a strong obligation to erect my opposition to it whenever it asserts itself before my eyes. Continual engagement with those who think differently is then a prospect I cherish and seek out for myself.

    I would honestly like to form myself as an enemy of everything I hate and I propose it as a personal resolution. My contempt for religious bigotry, moral imposition, intellectual obfuscation and unprincipled thought needs necessarily to find a confirmation on the practical side of my being. I would feel very lowly of myself if I hadn’t the strength or the courage to face the battles in which I hold belief.

    The ability to speak and to write persuasively is a major desire of mine and a source of much of my self-criticism and improvement.

    Leaving that aside for a moment, I suppose I could consider physical exercise as a small commitment… maybe, possibly, one day.

    • I love the final ironical resolution. Hilarious 🙂 your discourse sounds so much “you”. I do understand your anger; analysing your comment there’re so many words thet belong to the semantic field of opposition, conflict, hostility: ” abhor, gutless, opposition, enemy, hate, contempt, battles … Maybe one day in your studies you’ll get to know the principles on Non-Resistance. Each one of us, sooner or later, one way or another, finds peace.
      “As you embrace the present
      and become one with it and merge with it,
      you will experience a fire, a glow,
      a sparkle of ecstasy throbbing in every sentient being.
      As you begin to experience this exultation of spirit
      in everything that is alive, as you become intimate with it,
      joy will be born within you,
      and you will drop the terrible burdens of defensiveness,
      resentment and hurtfulness…”
      —Deepak Chopra

      • You will excuse my disagreeing entirely 🙂 Non-resistence only gets one so far. Active involment and struggle gets things done, I believe.

        I’m not honesty seeking peace, rather satisfaction and self-accomplishment. I don’t mind the heat of the language.

        But I’m very sorry that you chose Deepak Chopra for a soothing, mellow massage of inaction. I happen to know something about the man and I maintain that he is eminently an embarassing charlatan and pseudointellectual, very much suspicious of science and promotor of woodoo nonsense and superstion. I have no doubt you know of many other voices of wisdom and honest intellect.

        • Dear Bajro, I have nothing to forgive, you just expressed your opinion – developing your precious critical thinking; nevertheless, this is something that cannot be discussed online. Still, your way of communicating sounds rather peremptory, leaving no possibility of doubting. I chose that quotation (from another book) ’cause I liked it, regardless of who said it. I’m not into New age, nor one of Chopra’s followers (don’t know much about him actually!), nor into any form of mysticism. When I was your age I was a fighter, seeking to change the world by action. “Peace of mind” wasn’t in my vocabulary, filled instead with words of passion and revolution. Growing older, I’ve come to terms with my rebellious attitude since I’ve discovered that not all injustices can be fixed ‘and that I’m not almighty. I’ve also realized that the temptation shared by all forms of intelligence is cynicism. I discovered the ABSURD of life (see existentialism in philosophy) and gave up the presumptuous and arrogant idea of “holding the truth” because of my intelligence. There are things that are not explainable, nor understandable. When I say “non-resistance” I mean accepting what we cannot change and also “satyagraha.” No need to mention Gandhi who, by his non-violent civil disobedience, got things done, right?
          Last but not least, I now tend to suspend strict “judgments” as all judgments are tragic expressions of unmet needs that lead to anger.
          I end this short reflection quoting a great poet T.S.Eliot that may better recap my thought
          “Between the idea
          and the reality
          between the motion
          and the act
          Falls the shadow.”

  80. In my life I struggled to accept a lot of different things,and I think this is pretty common. Since I was a child there have been obstacles that I had to face and, sometimes, I couldn’t bear their consequences, even if they were little ones. I had to learn to accept that sometimes you can’t change things or that, if you can,it will take a long time and it will require a lot of hard work and patience. However there are things that I cannot accept the way they are, like the fact that many children around the world still can’t have access to good education and are forced to work in horrible conditions, the fact that people still make war and the fact that women are still considered inferior in certain fields. These are just a few examples, and I know that I can’t make a big difference when it comes to those realities, so at least I try to work hard in my daily life, studying, researching, keeping an open mind and, if I can, helping my family, my friends and all the people I love when they need support. This year I’d like to lead a healthier life-style, control better my anxiety and spend more time with people I unfortunately can’t see often.

    • As a serenity prayer states:
      God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
      Courage to change the things I can,
      And wisdom to know the difference.

  81. This year I’ve decided to improve my skills and to feel better about my life and myself. Last year I felt bad for few things but that was happening more and more often always on the same things. And that would make me feel even worse. Day by day I knew that a part of them depended on me.
    So, I’ve decided to do my best, to do what depended on me, to focus on those things.
    That’s the way “I rise”. I decided not to procrastinate (I’m lazy so it’s a good deal to achieve it) and I’ve realized that doing things exactly when I think about doing them makes me feel better. That’s how I rise. I’m rising my life, I have enough of feeling stressed: I focus on one thing first, then on another one. I have enough of “now having time for doing things (I like)”. I am tired of feeling tired.
    “I rise”, being the girl I know I am. 🙂
    (Having achievable aims make me feel better, satisfied and more self-confident)

  82. When we saw, this morning, in class the short video of the poem “TODAY I RISE” by Alexandra Feldner with a lot of strong images of women of every countries, race and religion my first impression was something positive, something that made me stronger and filled me of hope. This reflect how I want my 2017, after a very sad 2016 now I want, despite everything, think POSITIVE!
    But I desire also another thing, that I thought during the watching….
    From my point of view, compared to the past, occidental women’s rights and women’s roles are changed. Occidental women have integrated successfully into work world and to undertake not only the classical family life but also a working life, but regarding oriental world, things never changed. The majority of the oriental women are represented only like housewives, forced by their husbands to put a piece cloth in head to cover their own identity (especially women of countries in war or third world countries) These are the things that annoying me so much. Some of these oriental men use this excuse as religious motivation or saying that their own women are precious treasures to be held hidden, I say all bullshit!!!!! (sorry but I want my message to be clear)
    The truth is that men are scared of what, forces of nature like women can do, holding this women in the total ignorance of what is around them and the thing that absolutely I want for this 2017 is that one day also this women could rise themselves!
    But I wouldn’t only the rise of the women, I would the rise of every mind that think that revenge for wars that happened centuries ago , using terrorism of every type (social media, letters, videos…), is something so ignorant and I hope in a year where this ignorance could be solved.
    I hope, I hope in a lot of things but something that now I can say is that WE MUST THINK FOR THE BEST FOR OURSELVES, FOR THE OTHERS, ALWAYS!

    • I really appreciate your determination Giulia. Mind that in English we say Western (occidentale) & Eastern.Cultural habits are a avery delicate stuff to judge and centuries of history canot be wiped out in a whiff. As you said, education can do a lot to change the mentality. Keep on thinking pink 🙂

  83. I’ll start with my personal consideration about “Today I rise”. When we first watched it without sound, at the end I felt kind of powerless because of all those children and women who are out there, living in conditions we can’t even imagine. I know I could sound pessimistic but it’s just the reality we are surrounded by, a reality where even in the 21st century, people have to fight for rights that we all deserve. On the other hand there’s that little girl with wings that reminds me that even if we consist in one of the smallest parts of this crazy world, our small dedication for a small change can represent a big impact if summed to the others little dedications for a cause. That’s something I would like to improve: the awareness of people, who have no idea of the power they have, me included. Moreover, something I can’t accept but I can change (let’s start from myself and then we’ll see) is the infinite need of people to judge others. I’m the first who admit that often judges, too much and too fast but I must say that I can do something for this situation just thinking, taking my time and focusing on what really matters, forgetting about such useless ways of complaining about this and that. We all have our journey and we all can understand what’s wrong or right, it may take a lot of time but at the end, we’ll be better persons. Last but not least, I would like to commit to try not to sound or behave in an annoyed way while replying to a request or doing something that was asked me to do. We can’t take for granted what we have, without doing something as recognition. I would like to commit to accept those mistakes or things that go wrong because they are just the first of a long list and I can’t stop every single time they happen forgetting about the good that could follow next time; life is a challenge and it’s up to us to rise after a fall. Each one of us is worth and we just have to find the strength to recognise this and show out there what are our abilities, rights, feelings and needs.

    • Dedication, Awareness, commitment, challenge … the key words you’ve used make your comment very precious indeed and, once again, you’ve proved yourself a very wise young woman.

  84. In this year 2017 I have many goals that I want to achieve, modify or even change, always within the limits of my ability. First of all, my school progress. Lately I have not the “head” in the school and it seems to me that I won’t be able to face this school year, because the “problems” of my personal life, (relationships with friends that are not very positive and some disagreements with my family). This unfortunately throws me down, morally. So, what I want to do this year is facing my “problems”, dedicating myself to study, without thinking about anything that may hinder me. I know that I will be able and I will succeed. That’s all:)

    • We are human and it’s pretty hard to “forget” our personal problems. Still, we can face them one at a time and FOCUS on our priorities, so that we are not overwhelmed by them but we can suceed in overcoming some of them.

  85. Entering in the 2017 I tried to make a list of successes and failures of the last year and then I thought that something had to change (e.g., my attitude).
    For the new year I focused to write down some resolutions that can help me to improve myself.
    One of them is stop procrastinating (I’ll need to put in a lot of work to change this bad habit) because of course the biggest barrier that keeps most people from reaching their goals is the desire to relax and do something fun instead of working hard.
    Another point is to reduce stress and insomnia that I’ll try to avoid them at all costs.
    And last but not least I’ll have to reflect more accurately before taking certain decisions.

    • Writing our resolutions down is a great idea and will definitely help you keep focused. It’s also useful to write down your failures and achievements so that you can modify your wrong behaviours (for ex. whenn you cannot sleep and when you sleep better)

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