This I Believe

Felix - Miami, Florida
Entered on January 23, 2007

For the seventeen years that I’ve been living, never had I stopped to think about my beliefs. From day to day, I have heard about other people’s beliefs and what they thought about this or that. I never thought mine counted.. It wasn’t until I heard about “This I Believe” that I actually asked myself that question. A series of events led to my answer.

Walking around the halls at Hialeah High School, I see students being judged for what they are or what they aren’t. In this small teenage society, you are judged if you are fat, if you’re skinny, if you’re gay, if you like to die your hair blue, or even if you don’t like Starbucks coffee. It seems as though you can never fit in. I disliked the feeling I got from seeing people treated that way. I didn’t like how everyone got mistreated for just being themselves. I just couldn’t stand the fact that a human can be treated like a bug on a windshield. I found myself asking myself, “Don’t they matter too?”

The next event happened while I was at a family dinner. The conversation had changed to grades and how important they are if you ever want to be someone important in life. I thought to myself, “Aren’t I important already?”

I kept thinking about it over and over again. Sure I need good grades to be successful, but isn’t that garbage man that picks up my trash every day important too? I’m sure he didn’t go to Harvard to study Sanitation Engineering or graduated at the top of his class but he sure is important. If he decided not to do his job anymore I’m sure that Yale law student will put on the suit and take on the job. So I thought to myself, “Is he not important?”

Not too late that day, I was watching at a documentary about prejudices in the United States. I was shocked to see how many people in this world were treated differently. It was like walking through the halls of my school again. It was the same people. Jews, gays, people who are overweight, people from the middle east. They were all being treated differently because of who they were. At that moment, it hit me. Out of a burst of insight, I had come to find my belief. But let’s pause it there. There’s one more thing that helped me realize it.

The minute I realized what my belief was, I also realized that mine was important because if my belief wasn’t important, my belief wouldn’t be my belief. You see, that instance, I realized that people matter. What doesn’t matter is what religion you belong to, what country you came from, what your sexual preference is, how much you weigh, and even what coffee you like. And yes, even my belief matter because I matter. So here you have it. This is what I believe: Your SAT score don’t make you important; the place where you buy your clothes don’t make you important; the fact that you look like an Abercrombie model doesn’t make you important. By being here, you already are important. No matter what anyone says, by even reading this right now, you are contributing towards something. Everything you and I do changes the world a bit, ot because you like Starbucks but because you matter, that garbage man matters, I matter, people matter. This I believe.