This I Believe

Sarah - Hodgkins, Illinois
Entered on October 5, 2006
Age Group: Under 18


This summer I went to Mexico with my friend to visit her family down there. We were planning to stay for a month, but I was not expecting how different their culture was going to be. I had been taking Spanish for a couple of years now, but was only ready to speak a couple of sentences. I was expecting to go to some resort like area but instead, we arrived at a house in a small town in the middle of nowhere. It was nothing like the tourist areas. I had trouble adjusting to their eating patterns, their daily schedule, and all the spicy sauces that was put on everything. I thought that Mexico was going to be simple and no different then life here.

I believe in being understanding towards other people’s beliefs and feelings. I never understood how difficult it would be to fit in with another group of people. Learning a language, a culture. The people who come here from other countries have so much to learn. They try so hard but it’s really difficult to fit in. All they need is someone to help them learn from their mistakes, someone to understand what they are going through.

We also need to be understanding in school and everyday life. People around us may be going through things that may make them act differently than we do or they just choose to act that way. We need to know that people have the right to act anyway they want to. People don’t all think the same way as we do. We need to cut them some slack and not label them as weird for their behaviors. There is more than your way to do things.

Mexico was too different for me. I only ended up staying for two weeks. I had no idea what a culture shock it turned out to be. I now have a greater respect for all those who come to another country to live and having to learn all over again how to speak and live day to day. Mexico was an amazing experience because it taught me to be understanding towards other people. I believe in being understanding.