1. A teenage girl’s understanding In movies, there is always a Hero and a Villain, a deﬁniteright and wrong. The Villain does something atrocious, and theHero comes in the nick of time to bring the Villain to justice.What the movies don’t always show is that sometimes, there is nodeﬁnite right and wrong. Most of the time, everything lies in agrey area. Something that is right to one may be totallyoutrageous to another. Is there ever any absolute right and absolute wrong? Forme, the answer is no. Everything has a motive. It may be asnoble as trying to satisfy everyone, as selﬁsh as wantingeverything for yourself, or even as simple as being bored. Thereis always reason behind action, and other people won’t alwaysapprove of it. Different people see different things. A prefect breaking up a ﬁght will be seen as a responsibleact to some, yet it may also be understood as a ﬂaunt of power to others. But what the prefect wasdoing could simply be out of reﬂex, or a dislike of violence. There is no way to satisfy everyone atthe same time, because everyone is different. What I hope to do through the scenarios below is to show some insight into what some peoplemight think. Through them, I convey this message: Do not judge people blindly. Think twice beforeyou act or speak, or you may regret it. There is always a reason why people do things. Some thingsare impossible to understand unless you have been through the same situation. There are always twosides to a story.*Note that some images may be disturbing.__________________________________________________________________________What is your opinion on Right and Wrong?What others say:Anonymous, 15 (Unspeciﬁed) - Do the right things, don’t dowrong things.Steven, 16 (South Korea) - I would say it’s something thateveryone knows about, but don’t exactly know what it actually is.Min Joon, 17 (South Korea) - It is something recognized by thegeneral society in terms of morality. However, right and wrong will notbe decided by the majority, but oneself.Dave, 19 (Indonesia) - Moral principles that govern a person’s orgroup’s behavior.Anonymous, 16 (Taiwan) - Right is right and wrong is wrong.If I think its right then its right. If I think its wrong, then its wrong.
2. Topic: Arranged MarriageScenarioIni is an indian girl who happens to be in love with a servant in her house. They plan to get marriedin the future. However, Ini, being the daughter of a noble, is getting an arranged marriage tosomeone whom her parents deem worthy of her status. Getting into a huge ﬁght with her parentswhen reasoning with them failed, Ini decides to elope with her lover, Raman.Ini: I love Raman. He loves me for who I am, not just for my money and position. He does notwant a single penny from my family and wants to support me with his own strength. My parents willnot listen to my pleas and I cannot betray my heart. Raman and I will run away to a distant city oreven country to start a life by ourselves. I know I might be selﬁsh but I cannot let go of what wehave.Raman: Ini is wonderful. I fell in love with her and fully intend to support her by myself. Why can’ther parents just listen to what we have to say? But I cannot really blame them. They have spent alltheir lives in that social group. They can trust nothing, especially not something as abstract asfeelings and love. The only things that are truly real to them are money and power. I don’t blamethem for not accepting me. I just take it as motivation to work even harder and, someday, return aman they can accept as their son-in-law.Mother: I was married off to Ini’s father at age 24. It was the best match available for my family atthe time. I had once loved a boy, but he was only after my money. I do not want to watch the samething happen to my daughter. Raman sounds wonderful coming from Ini, but the better they are toyou at ﬁrst, the harder it will be when you ﬁnd out what they truly want. And they always only wantone thing - Money.Father: I have always worked hard to make more money for the family, to raise our social statusand to bring honor to the family. So far, I have done a good job of it. I cannot tolerate a lowlyservant to become the son-in-law of my family. Marrying Ini off into a suitable family of out statusis not only proﬁtable for the family business, but will also be better for Ini. In a rich family she willnot have to work, she will never go hungry, she can have everything she needs. It will also bring herhonor and make life easier for her wherever she goes.Arguments, For and Against on a wider viewas said via internet sourcesFor:• Stability. Arranged marriages tend to be long lasting and stable as it is based on a compromise.• Don’t have to worry as much about looks.• In times of ﬁnancial crises or other problems, the couple could turn to their parents for help.• Since compromise and adjustments form the foundation of arranged marriages, the married couple doesn’t have any preconceived notions or much expectations about each other.• The couple comes from a similar background, which means they are more likely to share the same views on family and marriage.• Parents usually try to ﬁnd the best match for their child mentally as well as ﬁnancially. Even if there is no love, most couples will have at least friendship.
3. Against:• You get no choice.• Sometimes, one party is dragged into the marriage and are treated like slaves.• Some women have been known to stay in an abusive relationship for the sake of family pride.• Arranged marriage is a way to promote racism and class system.• It’s a easy way to make money through dowry.• The couple are strangers prior to the marriage. They do not have a chance to know and understand each other before entering the bridal chamber.__________________________________________________________________________What others say:Anonymous, 15 (Unspeciﬁed) - Good or bad, depends on the situation.Steven, 16 (South Korea) - It is the grave of one’s life.Belle, 16 (US/China) - I totally disagree with it. People can’t be happy with someone they don’t want to bewith.Dave, 19 (Indonesia) - Depends on the situation. If the person has trouble getting a girl, then an arrangedmarriage might be a good option.Anonymous, 16 (India) - Well, it depends on cultures.Anonymous, 16 (Taiwan) - It’s ﬁne if you get along, but you can’t be sure that the one you get isn’t the rightone for you.Alex, 16 (Hong Kong) - Taking away the freedom of rights ofpeople.Tina, 12 (China) - Sad, because you’ll be stuck with the personyou’re forced to marry for the rest of your life, and you wouldn’t be ableto choose to live your life with someone that you love.Anonymous, 17 (Unspeciﬁed) - Since I personally think thatarranged marriages prevent individuals’ freedom, it’s not good when themarriages is arranged regardless of the individuals’ right or opinion.Mrs. Shrimpton, 50 (USA/England) - Often parents knowtheir children well and can see objectively whether a marriage partnerwill be well suited or not. From my experience, many couples who havehad arranged marriages have grown to love each other and have hadhappy marriages. Even if the marriage is not arranged, I think it iswise to have both sets of parents permission before getting married.
4. Topic: AbortionScenarioMarca and Tyler are a loving couple. One day, Marca ﬁnds out she got pregnant. Coming from arather strict and traditional family, Marca is terriﬁed but wants to keep the baby. To make mattersworse, even Tyler is pressuring her to get an abortion. With her parents threatening to disown herand constant persuasion from Tyler, Marca ﬁnally caves and gets an abortion.Marca: I don’t want to murder an innocent baby for the mistakes that I made. It doesn’t knowanything, and doesn’t even have a chance to see the world before it dies. I know what they say aboutfetuses not being true babies until around three months, but I believe that life starts fromconception. I don’t want to give up so easily, but I cannot handle the mental pressure. I would havecollapsed if I hadn’t given in. If there had been at least one person that is on my side, perhaps Iwould have help out for longer. I regret my choice everyday. I know what they say about my future,but I believe having a child would only have mad me that much more dedicated to my studies andwork.Tyler: I know how much Marca loves her family, and I don’t want to see her cut off from themcompletely. As for the baby, we can always have another. I fully intend to marry her in the future,but we are too young and not responsible enough nor have the strength or means to take on anextra life at the moment. I try to be there for Marca, but she probably hates me now. However, Idon’t regret it. Marca is a wonderful woman who has a bright future in front of her - she should notbe hindered by a baby.Mother: Marca was always such a sweet child. I never would have thought that she would besexually active before marriage. Her pregnancy has come as a huge shock for me. What would ourrelatives say if they ﬁnd out? I cannot let a mere child be burdened with the huge strain of a baby.Father: She is a disgrace to the family. Sex before marriage! How could she? I wouldn’t have beenthis mad if they had at least known how to protect themselves. What would they, children barelyweaned themselves, know of taking care of a new life? They’re lucky I didn’t force them to breakupwith each other.Arguments, For and Against on a wider viewas said via internet sourcesFor:• For rape victims, they are usually unprepared, mentally and/or physically, to take care of a baby.• If abortion was made illegal, women would undergo “back alley” abortions, which are highly unsafe.• It’s better to have the fetus removed rather than brought up poor and neglected.• Some families already have children - having another child may be too much for them to handle.• Underage girls can carry on with their education.Against:• There is a risk of never being able to become pregnant ever again.• Could lead up to serious health complications as serious as death.
5. • Often leads up to unwanted memories, which could result in depression and stress. Some women experience a feeling of guilt, which lasts throughout lifetime.• There are around 1.5 million families in the United States alone who wants to adopt a child.• Some young women do not always fully understand what they are doing or what they may face later on.• Many women who undergo abortion experience premature birth later in their lives.__________________________________________________________________________What others say:Anonymous, 15 (Unspeciﬁed) - Abortion is killing, murder, genocide.Steven, 16 (South Korea) - Disagree.Belle, 16 (US/China) - There’s nothing wrong with abortion, but people need to be more careful.Jaden, 13 (South Korea) - It must not happen.Dave, 19 (Indonesia) - Bad, it’s murder.Anonymous, 16 (India) - Immoral but action should be taken in cases of early age (teens).Anonymous, 16 (Taiwan) - Ideally, you should be responsible for your child. However, if neither of the couplewants it either because of economical or emotional problems, or if the fetus has a disease, then it would be best to killwith without pain.Alex, 16 (Hong Kong) - Population control. I support to legalize abortion, but I dont support abortion.Anonymous, 17 (Unspeciﬁed) - I believe that abortion is considered badwhen it reached a certain extent where it is considered as homicide. Even thoughtthe embryos are not a complete human, if they have organs to react, abortion is nota right thing to do.Mrs. Shrimpton, 50 (USA/England) - I believe life is formed at themoment of conception so abortion should be avoided at all cost. The onlyexception would be if the mothers life was at risk due to the pregnancy.Min Joon, 17 (South Korea) - When someone really needs to get abortiondue to ﬁnancial circumstances and other reasons, then I think abortion can beallowed, because if your economical status is poor, then the baby will suffergreatly. But if you want abortion simply because you think raising child is a triedjob, then abortion should be banned.
6. Topic: Gay (Same Sex) MarriageScenarioMark and Eric are both men, and they’re in love with each other. They met in a gay bar and hit itoff straight away. Mark had long since come out to his parents, but Eric had never dared. Now, hecomes out with Mark by his side. Eric’s parents are furious, but eventually accept the fact that theirson was with a man. After a few years of dating, they decide to get married. The only problem was,they can’t. They live in a country where gay marriage is forbidden. All they can do is live together inthe same house and say to the others that they were merely good friends cohabiting. They cannotshow their happiness to the world and cannot get the beneﬁts married couples do.Mark: To me, we’re as good as married. The only difference is that we are not acknowledged bymuch of society. I worry that Eric will not be able to handle the stress. Everywhere we go, if weshow the slightest bit of affection for each other, we are met with contempt. We cannot go out onnormal dates. All we can do is make up for it in our house. I wish we could go through theceremonies. Have a wedding. I feel bad for not being able to give him that.Eric: I was scared when I found out about my sexual orientation at ﬁrst. I’ve seen ﬁrsthand whatpeople do to homosexuals, and it isn’t pretty. There was a girl back in high school who committedsuicide after being abused and shunned by the school because of her sexuality. I didn’t want to belike her. When I came out to my parents, I was extremely afraid. Afraid of what they would think,what they would do. I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones. I have found my soulmate, and I haveparents who understand me. Meeting Mark was a stroke of extremely good luck, and I will neverregret my choice.Eric’s Mother: To be honest, I was shocked. Never once in my life had I thought my son wouldturn out to be gay. Given the choice, I would not want this for him. Even though I am genuinelyhappy to see that Eric had found the love of his life, I worry if they will be able to stay strong andnot collapse from external assaults. It’s not easy to remain standing when the whole world’s againstyou. All I can do now is to give them my support and shield them as best as I can, for no matterwhat his preferences are, Eric is still my son. I can see that Mark is serious about this relationship aswell. Our children are grown up - who are we to mess around with their decisions?Eric’s Father: I don’t understand their relationship, nor their feelings towards each other and Idaresay I never will. But seeing Eric, who had always done as we wished and never said a secondword stand up against us like that was enough. Seeing the pure happiness emitting from him wasenough. I understand that my child has grown up and is old enough to make his own decisions. Nomatter what other people may think of this taboo relationship, as long as he is my son, I will standby him and shield him until he is ready to fully emerge from the shelter of home.Arguments, For and Against on a wider viewas said via internet sourcesFor:• Marriage beneﬁts (e.g. joint ownership, medical decision making) should be available to all couples.• Denying the marriages is a form of minority discrimination.• It doesn’t hurt anyone in particular, so why should it matter?• The only thing that should matter in marriage is love.
7. • Number of child adoptions should increase.• Encourages strong family values.Against:• Most religions consider homosexuality a sin.• It would weaken the deﬁnition for the institution of marriage.• It could provide a slippery slope leading to multiple wives, or marrying an animal.• It would confuse children about gender roles and the expectations of society.• Gay lifestyle leads to lower life expectancy, psychological disorders and other problems.__________________________________________________________________________What others say:Anonymous, 15 (Unspeciﬁed) - Don’t get married not matter what. It’s a trap I say, a trap.Steven, 16 (South Korea) - I don’t really mind, but if I were to say yes or no, then I would say no becausehumans were divided into male and female for a reason.Belle, 16 (US/China) - I don’t support it but I don’t look down on homosexual people. It’s just love.Jaden, 13 (South Korea) - Bad, really bad.Dave, 19 (Indonesia) - Hmm, not sure. Neutral, though I don’t mind it.Anonymous, 16 (India) - Should be allowed.Anonymous, 16 (Taiwan) - I wish themhappiness. But I don’t really have a speciﬁc opinion,because it’s not really a part of my life.Alex, 16 (Hong Kong) - Against humannature, shouldnt be recognized as a legal marriage,but shouldnt be an offense to laws.Tina, 12 (China) - Disgusting, crazy andweird. Why would someone marry another someoneof the same gender when there are tons of peoplefrom the opposite gender to choose from?Anonymous, 17 (Unspeciﬁed) - SinceIm Christian, Im learned o deny gay marriage.Hence, I cant agree to gay marriage no matter howgays rights is important.
8. Topic: Assisted SuicideScenarioLaura was diagnosed with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) at the age of fourteen. Since then, hercondition has worsened so that she could not even get down from her bed, nor come in contact withstrong lights or loud noises. She is now 31 years old - having spent 17 years conﬁned to her bed,Laura has had enough of it - she wants to die. But she can’t do it without her parents’ help. Lauratalks it over with her parents, and eventually, they agree. Laura’s mother, Katie, gave her anoverdose of drugs. Laura passed away hours later, at the age of 31.*Based on the Kay Gilderdale case; names were altered.Laura: I don’t want to continue this miserable excuse for a life anymore. I cannot even tend to mymost basic needs. My mother even has to wipe my bum after I’m done with the bedpan. A sneeze orcough could end up breaking one of my bones. I have discussed the matter with my parents. It hurtsme to be leaving them like this, but I can’t do this any longer. Even if that slim chance of me gettingbetter does happen, I would never become a mother. And that is my all time favorite wish. I am aburden to my parents. It’s time I let go.Katie: Given a choice, I would not give up on my daughter’s life. Never for a second had I everregretted taking care of her. I had always loved her, and that hasn’t changed. I understand whatshe’a going through, and I respect her choice. 17 years is a long time. Having held on for as long asLaura has, I’m ﬁlled with pride and pain. Now that she wants to put an end to her suffering, I see itas a mother’s responsibility to see her daughter through to the end. I believe she will have the lifeshe’s always wanted and as many kids as she wants in Heaven.Arguments, For and Against on a wider viewas said via internet sourcesFor:• People should be able to control their own lives.• Death is a compassionate way to relieve unbearable suffering.• If suicide has been legal since 1961, then helping someone who wants to die in a peaceful, painless way should also be legal.• People should be able to die with dignity.• Nurse and doctor time can be freed up to work on savable patients.• It allows the person to say his/her ﬁnal goodbye to loved ones.• Vital organs would be able to be saved, allowing other lives to be saved.• The person may commit suicide in a messy and traumatic way otherwise.Against:• Taking a life under any circumstance is immoral.• Doctors can be wrong about estimating how much time a patient has left to live, thus causing unnecessary deaths.• A recent study in Oregon showed that one out of six people who took their lives with assisted suicide were suffering from depression.
9. • As the advances in medicine continue, diseases and disabilities once considered untreatable may have a cure.• Some may be tempted, for the sake of easing their families’ burden.• Legalizing risks turning it into a lifestyle choice.• Many religions prohibit suicide and the intentional killing of others.__________________________________________________________________________What others say:Anonymous, 15 (Unspeciﬁed) - Bad, not nice. Life is a gift from God.Belle, 16 (US/China) - That’s a sad thing.Jaden, 13 (South Korea) - There must be a law that we can’t commit suicide.Dave, 19 (Indonesia) - It’s wrong.Anonymous, 16 (India) - Depends.Anonymous, 16 (Taiwan) - It’s murder. As long as you kill someone, no matter what the reason is, it’smurder.Alex, 16 (Hong Kong) - Only under the permission of he subject and his/her direct relatives within threegenerations.Tina, 12 (China) - Stupid. I think you should live your life all the way till the "end". Otherwise, youd bewasting it.Anonymous, 17 (Unspeciﬁed) - Being Christian, Im not allowed to assist any suicide. Hence, I cannotagree with the assisted suicide. ______________________________________________ *Note that all pros and cons were taken from different websites. *Pictures were also taken off the internet. *The people who commented were aware and had a choice of whether they wanted their information to be disclosed. *All scenarios and the inner thoughts of the people in them are only a possibility of what may be going on and should not be substituted into every situation. *Read with an open mind; Remember, don’t prejudice or judge too quickly.