This I Believe

Courtney - Durango, Colorado
Entered on January 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in self-expression. Not as an excuse to be wild and crazy, but to let your personality show through in everyday life. All the little things people do to fill their days, from what they wear, to how they talk, to even something as inconsequential as what flavor toothpaste they use show the world what kind of person they are. “Electrifying Mint” or “Tangy Tangerine”? The choices never end. Even the smallest, little decision can decide what your character will become; the kind of person you will become. And that’s okay. Even a cranky old lady with 12 cats and no social skills, is a cranky old lady with 12 cats and no social skills in her own unique way that no one else can duplicate. You are you. I am me. That’s the way it has always been. No one is better than anyone else; maybe at certain things, but that’s part of what makes life so interesting. The fact that one person may be able to sing or draw better than someone else, yet that doesn’t make their personality better than that other person’s. When all the distractions, the abilities and the superficial differences are taken away, everyone is equal. That is not to say everyone is the same. Each and every person is a diverse individual. Society constantly tells people to fit in, to be just like everybody else. But how is that possible? Everybody else isn’t like everybody else! No one is close enough in personality to make that stereotype. Besides, everyone was made to stand out, even if you are standing out by “fitting in”. So, how can I “fit in” if I was born to stand out, particularly if there is nothing to fit into? For instance, I am a Christian in a very liberal community. People constantly look at me differently because of my beliefs, even some of my closest friends. I know my sister and I are made fun of behind our backs for our faith. They think it’s weird. It’s not the normal. But what am I supposed to do, lie down and let people criticize my beliefs? No. I won’t do that. I can’t do that. This is why I believe in self-expression. Worshipping my God no matter what people say about me inspires me to stand up to others for my beliefs. It makes me an individual. It’s part of who I am.