When the Freedom Writers receive the Micah Award, given to people who fight injustice (or, as the award explains, people who save the entire world by saving one life), this student feels inspired enough to break her long silence and tell her mother that she was raped nine years ago by her babysitter. After hearing Holocaust survivors describe their sense of guilt, this student realizes that she, too, should not feel guilty and should accept that she was simply an innocent victim.
This student’s decision to tell her mother about a traumatic episode of sexual assault shows that positive incentives—in this case, receiving a prize about the importance of speaking the truth and fighting injustice—can be powerful enough to make people behave in courageous ways. She is, in this way, saving her own life, by defending her psychological well-being.
Recently, she asked her cousin if she had ever been sexually abused, and the cousin revealed that her uncle had molested her. This turned out to be the very same person who raped this student. This student finds the confidence to speak out when she realizes that doing so could save another little girl from her rapist. She has decided to report this man so that she can prevent injustice and not simply stand by without doing anything. She trusts that in saving one life, she can change the entire world.
This student realizes that telling the truth—which she thought would only affect her—can actually help others to heal as well. Indeed, instead of remaining silent about her pain, she now has the opportunity to speak up and potentially keep others from experiencing similar pain. Healing oneself can thus have unexpected consequences on other people.