This I Believe

Justin - Belleville, Wisconsin
Entered on June 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And they choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” Eleanor Roosevelt.

Has anyone ever told you how to live? People will tell you how to act, how to talk, how to walk, what to believe in, and how to believe! It takes a much stronger individual to stand by your own beliefs. I believe that everybody should live life as they truly are and not how they are TOLD to live it.

Many young Americans live their lives every day with peer pressure. People are constantly judging other people. Students are constantly ridiculed and judged for what they wear, how they talk, whom they hang out with, how they act, etc. When is enough, ENOUGH?

A chameleon is able to change its color in order to blend in with its environment, unfortunately for human beings it isn’t that easy. A person can’t change their looks easily, a person can’t change the way they talk, a person should never compromise their beliefs just to “fit” in with “cool” crowd of kids.

One day as I was walking down the high school hallway, I heard another student say, “Justin is so gay! Why can’t he just act like everybody else! Seriously, just listen to the way he talks!” People, right here in this school, are constantly passing judgment on me, why? I was simply walking down the hallway minding my own business and not bothering a single person

I am not the type of person that shares my deep thoughts or feelings freely. It really bugs me when people use derogatory words so carelessly. I have feelings just like everybody else in the school. I am not made of stone I just wish one of you could walk a day in my shoes, before passing judgment. I know people talk about me whenever I leave a room, why? What have I done to deserve such humiliation?

People just assume the right to judge me. I am not sure if it is only the popular kids who determine the social criteria of the school or possibly the athletes. I am not sure if the “fitting in” criteria, is based on the color of my skin or the name brand clothes that I do or do not wear. I happen to love the color pink, does that automatically make me the object of harassment? Are girls that like the color blue automatically the object of ridicule and teasing? What I am sure of is that harassment and ridicule are a constant in my life and the majority of it occurs in this school. I am not exactly sure why? I am not hurting anybody so why the need for retaliation and the constant use of derogatory language directed at me?