This I Believe

Heather - New City, New York
Entered on April 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Looking Twice

I do it. It’s one of those perfect days, the type of day which makes you smile just because you can. With bright sunlight splashing down, transforming metal into gleaming rivers of light, a slight breeze helping lazy white clouds move through the sky. The kind of day in which nothing can go wrong. Yet while driving, I do it. I look, and then look again into my mirror before switching lanes, double checking to myself that it really is clear to switch. I believe in looking twice even on a perfect day.

I look twice while driving, but I also look twice at people. First impressions may be proven true, but they may also deceive. If you never bother to take that second chance and see what is there, beyond that first impression, you will never know what you might have missed. In a world where first impressions are everything, where judging people on appearance is subconsciously done before we even recognize we are doing it, sometimes we need to stop and take that second look. Taking the time to see what lies beneath may change your life forever. A lesson I might not have learned had it not been for physics class.

When I sat down in class that particular day, my first thoughts were FREAK. From his clothes, to his hair, to his accent, I could find nothing to like about this boy I would be stuck sitting with for the rest of the year. We loathed each other, never seeing below what was on the surface since we are from two very different social classes. And then one day he was there, hanging out with the same people I was, and so we began to talk. Suddenly we were online every night having long in-depth conversations about everything, and learning what was below the surface in each of us. Taking a second look at each other, we realized that we were not so different after all. In fact, we had more in common than we did with most people in our own groups. Now my boyfriend, I sometimes sit and think on the irony of it all. Had I not allowed myself to take that second look, I may never have found him. We might have still been sitting next to each other, never knowing how happy we could be if we opened our eyes, and saw past our differences.

So now, I believe in looking twice, every chance I get. Be it a perfect day resplendent with sunlight or a cloudy one, darkened by rain, I look below the surface to see what is really there. I look twice because in doing so I may change my life. This, I believe.