This I Believe
My family and I were walking into Home Depot one day to look at paint for our family room. Walking behind my dad, my mom looked at me and said something to the extent that just five minutes ago he had come home from work looking very professional with a suit, tie, and briefcase. That night, my dad looked like a totally different person in a ratty old t-shirt and khaki shorts with paint stains on them. A month or so later, we were at the grocery store. I saw this tall, thick, and somewhat muscular man wearing old, jean shorts and a sleeveless shirt. He was with an attractive woman. I thought nothing of it until my mom leaned over and asked me if it was a man we knew. Then the man turned around and I could see that he in fact was Mr. DeWeese, my eighth grade choir teacher.
I believe that individuals should be treated with respect. This may seem like a simple request but you may not realize how many times we judge or even look down upon others. I realize this is usually based on how they present themselves in public and we can not be blamed for that; especially when it is a reflection of how they really live their life. However, people are not always as they seem. Just like no one would have thought my dad lived the office life, I never would have pictured Mr. DeWeese looking like that as I always saw him as a firm, choral director, in a suit and tie.
Born into this world, we are automatically equipped with trust, and most important, unconditional love. Everyone our eyes meet is amazing to us is some way. Maybe they have a pretty outfit on or did something nice for someone else. Then we grow up and somehow go from that state of mind to looking for conformity or causing others harm. I have noticed that many times we do not realize why we do this; it just seems the thing to do. There is no rhyme or reason to it other than the fact that we may feel threatened by someone else’s presence. This does not make much sense does it?
We say that taking a life is wrong but hurting someone emotionally can be just as awful. For instance, when a person’s pride or dignity is taken from them, they are treated as if they do not matter anyway. Why? I have noticed this lately with religion although it may be applied to any topic. I am of a religion that is extremely uncommon, always misunderstood, and therefore I take the rap for it. No one would ever know if I did not tell them because as a person I am just like everyone else. Things that others say can be offensive and I can not understand why they do not just take me as a person. It is the same on both sides of the equation; we both believe something different. However, it seems people always have to say the other is wrong and go on the defense. They feel the need to look down upon those who seem out of place, whether in the subconscious or outwardly. There is no need for that. In an extreme case of this kind of hate, we get something like war. Then, have to go through the day listening to the ridiculous happenings in that area of our world, when they are fighting an absurd argument anyway. The Iraqi war is a result of human beings not being capable of accepting that they have their differences. It should not be this way.
Through the ages, people have done, felt, and thought similar things. Each and every one of us is the same inside. All of us have laughed, cried, felt excitement, gotten nervous, and loved. We are just people and can not require anything else but respect from each other.
These days I make an attempt to keep every situation in perspective and see every individual as a whole person, taking into account that I do not know the whole story. The man who helped us at Home Depot that night only saw us for five minutes and had no way of knowing about us personally. Going through life with enthusiasm and openness is very important to the future welfare of our world, the well-being of ourselves, and the interest of our relationship with others. Life is all about expressing our own individuality while interacting with fellow human beings. If we can not complete a task so simple as to treat others with loving respect; then why are any of us here?
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