This I Believe

charlie - mpls, Minnesota
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in fairness. Everyone deserves a fair chance in life. No one should be discriminated against based upon who they have been in the past, to whom they are related, or other lives or events that they may have intersected with in the past. Equality is a high priority to me. It seems in our world today that everyone is so quick to judge based upon race, sexual orientation, religion, and several other important but essentially irrelevant factors that contribute to what kind of person we are.

Judgmental decisions have become the status quo, from an elderly woman giving an Arab man a filthy look on an airplane to a police officer pulling over a Black man for driving an expensive car in a wealthy part of town. In our world today, getting a fair shake in life is often times more than most people want to give you.

When I was a freshman, I thought that I always had to impressive everyone around me. I always had to be the funniest, the loudest, and the most obnoxious person in every group op people that I was in. I was afraid of the opinions of other people, and protected myself by creating an alternate persona that I was able to hide behind. I didn’t care what kind of grades I got, just about whether or not my peers perceived me as “cool”. However, I was able to stop allowing others to control who I am and what I do with my life.

Now, I still have not given up my way of being loud, and sometimes obnoxious. However, now it is on my own terms. I don’t let other people narrate and dictate my life. I choose when I want to act crazy, and when I want to be subdued. I refuse to let other people’s judgments rule my life, and instead now decide exactly what kind of decisions I make regarding my behavior or conduct.

In an age where our public figures have people telling them what to do, say, and wear, we rarely see anyone’s true self, and as a result many succumb to the easy shortcut of acting fake. We miss out on hundreds of interesting personalities and insightful commentaries every single day because we do not offer everyone a fair chance to prove what they are about, and instead making that decision for them. Everyone should be given a chance at doing what they aspire to in their life. Who are we to choose another’s fate; to crush another’s dream? If we do not give everyone an equal chance in life, not only will we rob them of something that they may be striving for, but will also rob ourselves of the opportunity to see what various individuals will do when handed one of these golden opportunities.