This I Believe

Hoo-Kyung - Irving, Texas
Entered on March 5, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: respect

Never judge a book by its cover. I believe everybody should be respected and loved, no matter who they are or what they look like. I came here to the United States in 2003. When I first came here, everything was new to me; all those foreign people, spacious buildings and all the things that were written in English and many other languages. I really liked living here until I entered middle school. The first day of school in the United State was unforgettable. As I stepped into the room, I could see people with different colored skin talking to each other and getting along well. I thought, “I could be their friends, too.” But since I was the only Asian kid, and most of them were Hispanic, nobody seemed interested in me.

Every time somebody laughed or said something that I couldn’t understand, whether it was in English or Spanish, I felt like that they were laughing at me or talking about me. I couldn’t even speak English back then; I couldn’t even ask them what they were talking about. I always felt like that I was left behind. I had to spend the most of the time in school like that; sitting alone, doing group projects by myself and sitting at the back of the room. One day, we traded gifts for Christmas in the class. We were having fun until the teacher was told that one of the kids had lost his gift.

All of the sudden, everybody looked at me; even the teacher looked at me and asked me if I took it. I felt really bad; it almost made me cry. I tried to explain that it wasn’t me and I even opened up my purse and showed it to her. But nobody believed me until the teacher caught one of the kids trying to put the gift back to where it belonged. No one in that room even said sorry to me, even after they found out that it wasn’t me. But this was just the beginning; nobody seemed like wanting to trust or believe me. Some people look at me for a while or even say something when I’m outside. It makes me uncomfortable and doleful somehow them looking at me like if I’m a creature that just came to the Earth from another planet or something. All people are the same, whether they are black, white, Hispanic or Asian. That’s how I was taught and the way I feel. To me, what really matters and the thing you should care about the most is what they have inside of the mind. Nobody should be judged by their looks.