This I Believe

Jeff - Austin, Texas
Entered on April 27, 2006

I believe the most important guideline to follow in my life is the Golden Rule: to treat others how you would like to be treated. All of my life, I have tried to live according to this glorious and peace-bringing rule. Throughout my education, especially in high school, I witnessed harsh and unequal treatment of others by certain people. I have grown to understand that the picking on of by others can have detrimental effects on the ones being inflicted upon.

When I was about 15 years old, a certain event occurred that has and continues to strongly affect me. I would frequently hang around one of my really good friend’s house. He was very close to his brother who was only 2 years older and therefore we would all hang out together when I would come over for a few rounds of Super Mario World or whatever else we were in to at the time. From becoming friends with the two brothers, I knew almost as much about my friend’s brother as I did about him.

I learned that my friend’s brother had a friend in his class who had a severe case of anorexia. Like most people with this disease, the person was a girl. I found out that she had been accused of being overweight by others, but in reality she was barely overweight and not to mention a cute girl. It just so happened that she was the type of self-conscious person who takes comments like these very personal. This is what led to her anorexia and eventual suicide. The substantial effect her suicide had on my friend’s brother, who I might as well call my friend, made me feel great sorrow. Sorrow not only for him, but for the rest of his class and the family of the young girl. The whole situation made me realize the effect some people can have on others when they treat them harshly. If these insulting comments would not have been made, most likely this event would have never even begun to occur. This is why I believe ALL people should treat ALL other people exactly how they would like to be treated.

The human mind is a very powerful tool, and if the right buttons are pushed, it can cause one to lose their sense of judgment and react according to instinct alone. This is exactly what happened in the events such as the Columbine shootings, not to mention in the suicide of the young girl as mentioned above. The students in Columbine were severely made fun of for being different, and were therefore seen as outcasts which no one wants to be seen as. None of their peers showed any sign of sympathy for them, instead they were shown outright hatred and ignorance. I believe that if everyone treats others how they would like to be treated, gruesome acts like this would never take place.

I feel that this belief of mine is mainly due to the influence of my parents. I have seen through their interactions with others that they are farthest from being involved in a conflict of any sort. If an unnecessary conflict is likely to occur, which often time does, they have always been the ones to walk away from it. This, I believe I have adopted from them completely. Also, they have always been overly caring and loving towards me and have done everything they could to make me happy. For this, I am very grateful, but am even more grateful for the view of life they have instilled in me. It is a view of life where peace is the first and foremost action that needs to be lived by. In other words, act peaceful towards others, and receive peace from them in return. It is an ongoing cycle that needs as many followers as possible. The more people involved the more peace that results.

I do believe that if the Golden Rule was more respected and lived by, our world would be a very different world than it is today. If everyone could recognize the genius in the magnificent guideline, and then act accordingly, peace would reign and true happiness would be achieved for everyone.