This I Believe

Sarah - Seymour, Connecticut
Entered on May 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Can you think back and remember someone who has made an impact on your life; or someone who has given you an idea that you have chosen to accept and live by? I think that we all have some person who has effected out life one way or another. For me, it is my Spanish teacher. He has taught me more than just Spanish; he has given me an ideal that I have adopted as my own. This ideal is that we should not judge one another based on physical appearances, gender, orientation, financial background, mental illness, etc.

I’m not saying that we should go out and steal other’s ideas, but merely listen to others and here what they have to say and maybe put their ideas into practice. I think that this is where we have to start in order to take away all of the prejudice in the world. It is a small step but also an important one.

On one instance, I was walking with my friends and I was a little bit ahead of them and some lady pulls up in a car besides me and asks “Are those kids bothering you?” I was shocked because first of all she just looked at us and saw that I was wearing light colors and my friends were wearing black and assumed that they were bothering me and that we weren’t friends. Do friends have to wear the same colors? And second of all, she thought that they were automatically troublemakers because they were wearing black and seemingly following someone. My friends and I have tried to fight the stereotypical “black wearer” that people have in their minds. And perhaps one day we will be victorious.

People can walk down the street or down the halls in their school and see a bunch of people for the first time and for a split second that person will judge others based on their looks. If they are wearing pink and have make-up on and purses then they must be preppy or is they are wearing black lipstick and black clothing then they must be goth. And if they claim that they aren’t then they are posers or fakes. I know that it will be hard to change the way we look at others but just for once I’m sure that we can all make the effort to look at someone beyond their exterior and hopefully they will look beyond your exterior and you can become friends. That’s how it happened between me and my friend. We just looked at each other and decided that we should be friends even though we were way different from each other. Looking back on it now, it’s a wonder how we became friends in the first place since we are so different.

If everyone could push their differences aside then maybe events like the War in Iraq wouldn’t be happening now and political wars between the Democrats and the Republicans wouldn’t be going on. It will be a long time before we can all look past our differences but I believe that it can be done.

All in all, it isn’t good to assume anything about anyone. I have learned many times that assumptions are not the right way to make decisions. If you really wanted to judge someone, talk to them first, get to know them better, and maybe you’ll even become friends; who knows. The important thing is to try and change the way we look at others, after all, would you like someone to assume things that were very wrong about you based on your appearance? And who knows, maybe if we try to convey the message of not judging others to the younger generation, then maybe they will be able to do something that the older generations before them could only dream of.