This I Believe

Summer - Sierra vista, Arizona
Entered on January 31, 2007

Amending the World; through Finding Common Ground.

Growing up, my parent’s beliefs were constantly being processed in my mind as my own. I never discovered my personal viewpoint, until a friend invited me over to his house to watch television. As I sat watching the news. The anchors and guests were yelling and name calling each others ideas as “stupid and preposterous.” I was shocked when the representatives of my government started calling each other “liars and bigots.” I was even more shocked when my friend started screaming at the television. In that moment I had an epiphany. I found the solution to intolerance: Common Ground

Watching the news today, I once again, see Democrats and Republicans, Christians and Atheist, Pro-life and Pro-choice, fighting against each other’s differences. I ask whatever happened to finding common ground? I believe that the key to learning how to respect each other is learning how to respectfully disagree.

I believe I can stand up for my beliefs and defend them, without slandering another person’s ideal. If we can find common ground with our neighbors, we as a nation will be able to look beyond our differences. I believe that the key to receiving love, is giving love and in order to achieve respect I must first earn it, by respecting others. I believe that as an individual and a human being, it is my duty to listen to people’s problems with compassion and understanding. I believe that if I care and listen to others, I will also be heard and understood. I believe that our nation’s cure of rivalry is finding common ground.

I have friends who continuously change their appearances. One day I asked them why. They simply replied, “New style.” I ask, where has the idea of being different gone? There are now three different groups in high school. The popular, the jocks and the losers. I believe that if Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King were attending high school today they would be placed in the loser’s category simply because they’re different. I believe every one is unique, and if we would embrace our inimitability as Einstein and King did, we could use our gifts to create change. I believe if I am happy with who I am, and let myself grow naturally into who I will become, by appreciating each persons unique quality, I can transform the crowd into individuals.

I believe in God and the enormous power of good. I have the power to change the world, but it can also change me. I believe that, understanding, love and respect are the most potent weapons ever developed. They have the power to transform lives, yet they are not created by scientist or engineers but by us through God as individuals. I believe I can amend the world, but I must first change myself, and through improving my self, I can transform those around me and us as a people can amend the world through finding common ground.