This I Believe

Orrin - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on September 10, 2007

I believe that acceptance is the basis of human happiness. When I’m accepted by anything, whether it is an animal or a fellow human, there is always an increase in my happiness. Without this basis, all of my happiness would be feel awkward and out of place.

Acceptance is something that I have both lost and gained. When I was only 4 years old, I met one of my best friends that I still consider to have a strong bond with that will never fade, no matter how far away we truly are, both physically and mentally. My soul, I feel, is stronger because of this bond. Although, there have been times where I have been unaccepted.

When I was in seventh grade, I met someone who always treated me as inferior. No matter what I did, she never changed her attitude. I felt that I was rejected just because of my attitude and appearance. She eventually left town, and I never saw her again. Although what’s out of sight is out of mind, it sometimes feels like there is a little empty spot in my soul that could have been filled.

Acceptance, when declined, never makes me feel happy or excited. Why should I celebrate someone hating my presence? It is not a pleasant experience, and as normal human reaction instructs, one only wants to get rid of this pain, not retain it. It’s hard to be happy when you are not comfortable in terms of emotions.

Recently, I have been active in my 4H Horse community. I am leasing a horse who has become a dear friend and companion. Many others see horseback riding as two separate entities, the rider and their mount, but they are sadly mistaken. When riding, the rider and the horse become one and function as such. I believe that this is the height of acceptance, for my horse would never shun me or do anything of that nature.

This is not only achieved with animals, for there are also friends (Using the normal connotation: pertaining to humans) that can bestow this same feeling. I have many friends that I consider part of my family. Without these friends, I am not sure if I could ever be truly happy. There is comfort in me knowing that whatever may happen, my friends will always be with me.

Happiness is achieved by comfort. Comfort is achieved by acceptance. I have had many happy friendships, both human and animal. I have also been shunned and rejected by the same amount, but thankfully, those feelings have passed. What the world needs now is not love and peace, what it needs is acceptance.