This I Believe

Noemi - North Hollywood, California
Entered on October 19, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: community

I believe we are all so different but all the same. We all have different styles, cultures, goals and interests. The world is an endless ocean of diversity. No two people are exactly alike, inside and out. However, we are all human and tend to have many similar characteristics and needs. We need love. We need shelter. We need family. We need support, at one point or another. There are certain elements that every human being needs. We share common grounds but it is our differences that divide us.

I’ve come to realize that in times of crisis these differences are set aside. A perfect example is the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. It was the only time in my life that I felt such a sense of unity across the entire nation. In our everyday lives, we walk past so many people and don’t even offer a smile or a simple hello. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives and needs that we become selfish. We argue and fight. We tell each other off in traffic and are constantly competing with one another. However, when major tragedy strikes we take a step back. In the case of the World Trade Center tragedy, I think people stopped for a minute and came together. We shared pain, grief and anger with people we had never met before, total strangers. Although most of us didn’t lose anyone to that tragedy, we sympathized with all those families who did. We felt their pain. All of a sudden, this society of self-centered people became a united nation. We took a second to appreciate the importance of life, family and love.

My own family functions in the same way. We are not very close and everyone is out living their own lives. We don’t speak on a daily basis. We never really show any affection or emotions. However, I know that they love me and I will always love them. I understand that it is our differences and selfish nature that distances us, but we are all just ordinary people trying to make it in this world.

As people, we let our petty differences get in the way of communication and unity. We live in a society where everyone has their guard up. We pass up the opportunity of getting to know someone who might be really interesting or smart because they are “different” than us. We miss out on relationships with friends, family or significant others because of selfishness and pride. However, most of us want to love and be loved. We share similar goals, such as success in life and security. I try to remind myself that people are just that, people. Although we are different, we are all the same. At times, we may be selfish. We get frustrated and confused in life which can make us act selfish, irrational and, sometimes, mean but we are all just trying to find the way. I, also, keep in mind how amazing it is that a simple smile can brighten someone’s day.