This I Believe

Meghan - Royal Oak, Michigan
Entered on April 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

My Dad told me that one of the most important things he learned in high school was that there are two types of people in this world: tennis balls and onions. Tennis balls are the people that when you cut them open there really isn’t a whole lot there, and onions are the people that have many layers and sometimes make you cry.

I can still remember the exact circumstances of the first time I heard this from him. I was sobbing over a fight with my best friends. These words were a little too ambiguous to be comforting to me at the exact moment, and I believe I went sobbing to my mother looking for sympathy instead. But somehow I’ve never lost these words.

I eventually made up with my friends one day realizing that they were onions. And that the substance they possessed was worth more than a few tears.

I’ve taken these words with me through my years of high school. I’ve applied them to my friends, my enemies, and those somewhere in between.

I also remember the day when my Dad told me that I was an onion. In the context of the conversation, he was referring to my bold and opinionated nature, which I admit that at times, can be far too much to swallow. He told me that he is sure that I’ve made people cry whether with my actions or my words. He commended me for having substance and even for sticking to my guns, but he kindly told me that at times I can be just too harsh.

There is a factor of my Dad’s two types of people that I think he forgot. That factor being sweet onions. I believe that sweet onions are something special. They have the layers and the substance of being a true person, but in their heart is a little extra sweetness. They might be a bit callous at times, but they have a certain kindness that proves their good intentions.

I have met a few sweet onions in my life, my Dad being one of them. He plays the devil’s advocate, the defense, the jury, and the judge. But at the end of the day I know it’s because he loves me, and that’s what makes him a sweet onion.

I believe that one of the most important things I’ve learned in high school is that there are three types of people in this world: tennis balls, onions, and sweet onions. Tennis balls are the people that when you cut them open there really isn’t a whole lot there. Onions are the people that have many layers and sometimes they make you cry. And sweet onions have those layers too, and a little kick, but at the heart they have a little sweetness.