Fat, skinny, pretty, ugly, popular, and nerdy are some of the reasons people consider us different and discriminate; because we do not meet whoever’s standards. People still get discriminated against because of the color of their skin, take me for example I am a blonde Caucasian girl living on the Yakima Reservation, I get looks and talked about all the time. The other day I went into a store and a lady stopped me and asked me where I was from. I told her, “White Swan.” In total shock the lady said, “But you’re white and it’s a reservation.” I replied, “So, just because I’m not a Native American I can’t live on the reservation? Well that is a lot of nonsense because there is no rule stating that Caucasian people have to live with other Caucasian people. We live in a free country, so I can live anywhere I please!” I know that it sounds kind of rude but I was hurt when she said that to me.
Do you know how many people get disrespected because they are different? EVERYBODY does! You may think, “Oh, I’m not different. So I don’t get disrespected; but you do!!!! Everybody does because everybody is different. They may not say it to your face but, it happens and it does hurt so why does it happen? It even happens to rich and famous people. Take Hilary Duff for example, she played in the movie “The Perfect Man” and lets just say she wasn’t in her best shape. So the media was calling her “not healthy.” She was very hurt by that statement so she got really skinny and now people call her sickly skinny and anorexic. You can’t please people so why try? God made us different for a reason so why change? People think they know it all. They make fun of them to try and change them but the truth is we are better; nothing you say is going to change us. It only makes us stronger and better because we see people for who they are and not for who they are not.
For many years and before that Caucasian’s disrespected African American’s just because African American’s were not the same as Caucasian’s. The truth is African Americans are the same as everyone. They are human beings. A line from a song called “True Colors” written by Fredro Starr states “ we are all the same color when you turn out the lights.” So if we were all in the dark would you judge them by the sound of their voice? If you look back many African American people did great things to make the world a better place.
There are so many people who were made fun of because, they were different. People who are different change the world in one-way or another. For example Tomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln, they were not like other kids they grew up with they spent more time trying to make their future life better so they were considered different but now everybody in the world know there names. So next time you think about belittling somebody for being different you might be belittling someone who will become important and change your world.
I have a little cousin who changed our world. He has cerebral palsy and is in a wheel chair. He may be considered different to some people but to his family and friends he’s a normal child. If you spent one day with him he would change your life. He brings so much joy and life to our family. He makes us laugh and smile every time we see him. He does everything a little normal boy does. He goes to school and watches his favorite team the mariners play ball. He goes swimming, fishing, and he idolizes my brother Harry. Harry might not be anyone famous, but to my cousin Shane, he’s everything.
So next time you make fun of someone for being different just think how it makes you feel when people say hurtful things about you. The world would be so boring if we were the same. That’s why God made us different, to make the world a better place for everyone. I read in time magazine that over 200,000 people commit suicide every two years because people make fun of them for being different. That’s is a lot of people. I know I would not be able to live with myself if I was picking on a kid and they committed suicide because I couldn’t see them for who they were inside instead of just seeing what was on the outside. Finally, when you find someone different from yourself please don’t make fun of him or her, respect him or her. They are unique and have a lot to offer. Differences have a great role in our life. Its what makes us, us.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.