Fiona Orr

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Fiona Orr, fifteen-years-old, is home schooled in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she volunteers regularly at the Omni Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology where she has found positive adult mentors. Fiona draws and paints. From a very young age, she liked to put beautiful things on paper so that other people could see the same beauty she did.

“Yes, you’re one very small person, but you can always make a difference.”

Teenagers sometimes aren’t paying attention, but it’s because we often don’t get paid attention to. I know I wouldn’t pay attention to somebody who’s not paying attention to me. That sounds very basic and stubborn, and you may not even realize you’re doing it. If an adult is not listening to my ideas because I’m young, then I’ll think, “Oh, you’re old. I’m not going to listen to your ideas.” It happens both ways.

The problems in the world can seem very big. It’s an overwhelming feeling and sometimes you just want to break down and cry. You think, “I’m just one very small teenager.” But it’s not like I can ignore it. I just become very sad sometimes. I try to focus on becoming well spoken and talking to people. If you can change the opinion of one person or get one person involved, then that person can get five people involved, and those five people branch off. You have to break it down really small. Just think, “I can only start with me and the person that’s in front of me now.” If you think about it on that scale, then it becomes so much more realistic to be able to help and change things.

Fiona Orr Short Audio Clip

Fiona Orr Full Audio

Discussion Questions

  • Articulate in your own words the value of intergenerational dialogue.
  • What is the value in talking about peace? Is discussion valuable even if it doesn’t lead to action? What other topics do you discuss when talking about peace?
  • How much do you let the world’s problems affect you personally? To what extent are your personal problems linked with the larger societal problems? Do you ever find yourself settling for less in terms of working to fix those large problems?
  • When are times that you have felt or still feel that you voice isn’t heard? How do you deal with that feeling?
  • Have you ever seen the results of “putting the idea of peace and justice into somebody’s mind?” When is a time when you know you made a difference in that way? When is a time that you’re unsure if you made a difference in that way?

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