Feb 13, 2007
This, I believe
Opinion. Expression. Determination. Life. Acceptance.
These five words hold so much meaning to me that it would take a novel just to begin explaining it to you. However, I shall attempt to shorten it all down.
All of the above mentioned words go together hand in hand; you cannot have one without another. My belief that supports this is that Life is not about acceptance, it is about having the determination to express one’s own opinion. That is what I believe about those five words. We are born, we live, we may not be accepted, but at least we can show that we have the determination to express our opinions. I know this from personal experiences throughout my life. When I was in the third or fourth grade, I was always picked on because of my size and interest in all things “geeky” as the ‘popular and cool’ people put it. It did hurt me at first, and I cried, I am not afraid to admit to that. So I was missing the acceptance that was so exalted by everyone. But I then realized my first belief, Life is not about acceptance. And from that moment on, I cared not for what the others thought of me. And I never have since then.
Later on, in maybe fifth grade, I was doing really badly in school, and I was falling behind in many things that I enjoyed. I was getting distracted my video games and other ‘in the now’ toys of the time. When the third report card came out, I had an epiphany, and this epiphany spoke to me, and it said, “Nevyn, you need to stop goofing off and focus on what really matters, your education”. And my second belief was then born, Life is about determination. And in anything that I pursue, I have been determined to excel at it.
Then sixth grade came, ‘Wow, junior high…’ I thought to myself, ‘this will be a great experience’ I was wrong. It only got worse then, instead of the questions being based on facts, they were based on opinion of events and laws and rules. And not only did we have to tell our opinions to paper, we had to speak it to everyone else in the room. And I was made fun of for most of my beliefs. And my belief of determination seemed to fade into nothing. Then someone spoke to me, not as a popular, not a cool kid, or even as someone better than me, but as a equal, this is what that person said, “Why did you stop sharing? You were completely unafraid to tell anyone what you believed, then you just stopped. Why?”
I simply looked at her and said, “What’s the point? I just get made fun of…”
“Who cares?” she said, “It doesn’t matter what others think of your opinion, they don’t believe it, and you do.” She then told me, not with words, but I could see it in her eyes, she told me that it’s not about what people think of your opinion, it’s about expressing your opinion to the world for all to see and hear! And as such, my final belief was born, and this wasn’t just a single new idea, this belief combined all of the aforementioned beliefs, and this resulting conglomeration was,
“Life is not about being accepted, but having the determination to express your opinion no matter how many people put you down in the process.”
And to this day, I stand strong beside that, and no one will ever change that.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.