This I Believe

Sarah - Montpelier, Virginia
Entered on August 28, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

Standing Up For What I Believe In

I am only a 14-year-old girl, but I have very strong opinions. I believe in standing up for what I believe in. Giving people your opinions is a crucial thing in life. Sometimes people won’t agree with you, and that’s okay. People are entitled to their own opinion. Sometimes your opinions can get you in trouble too, but I believe in supporting my cause.

When I was in 8th grade, I had an amazing history teacher. He taught me about my freedom of speech and that I have a right to believe what I wish. I read court cases and was inspired by people around the world who had stood up for their cause. Sometimes they failed, but they stuck to it. Shortly after that, a boy in my school wore a shirt publicizing about something he didn’t like in our school. Immediately he was made to take it off because the administration didn’t like him challenging them. I found this completely unnecessary. He was simply protesting in a non-violent way. With the help of my friends, we made shirts agreeing with the young man. It was an amazing feeling standing up to someone older and more experienced then I. Surprisingly the administration let us be and a little victory was won. We proved to the school that standing up for what you believe can really work and it’s worth it.

If you don’t stand up then who will? I know that I can’t just rely on someone else to solve things for me. Some of my peers argue that I’m only 14. They don’t think anyone cares about what I have to say. They say it’s not worth fighting. Maybe they’re right, but why not try? I think everyone should talk openly about their opinions with other people. I know people will respect my opinions as long as I can back them up with my other thoughts and knowledge. I think people will respect me more if I tell them what I think.

Lastly, when I get old enough to vote I plan on challenging my government. Not because I believe they aren’t doing a fantastic job, they have certainly done a fair job in my lifetime, but because I think the government should have some influence from the people. As long as I have the freedom of speech, I know I will continue to stand up for what I believe in.