This I Believe

Alyssa - Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Entered on September 19, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in colored crayons.

I believe in golden rod and periwinkle, in sea form green and brick red. I believe in creativity and youth; I believe in difference and the right to choose.

Imagine a classroom filled with Kindergarteners on their first day of school. Bright-eyed and eager to learn; they are given a blank sheet of crisp white paper and that big yellow box of sixty four colors, the sixty four colors of wonder and the ability to create.

While sitting in on classroom one day, the children were asked to draw a picture of themselves. A black girl and a white girl sat next to one another, sharing their box of colored crayons. The white girl handed her friend the brown colored crayon and told her to use that one for her skin. The black girl replied that she did not want to use that color because she did not like the color of her skin. When asked why she did not like it, she replied that she would prefer that her skin was peach like her friend. The white girl replied that she loved the color of the dark girl and wished that she too were the other color. The two friends decided to switch colors for the day.

It was a false representation of them on the outside; however, it was a representation of the girls’ minds. At that moment in time, I realized that skin color, was just skin color. It did not matter whether they were brown or peach, it mattered that they were friends and they were able to create a real-life situation and to learn from it. Children can show adults how pure and simple life can be if you allow yourself to create and learn. Differences are the things that set us apart and allow us to learn from one another.

When you sit down with this wonderful box of colors, it allows your mind to create anything you wish it to. You allowed the right to choose between pink and magenta, green or turquoise, you are allowed to create any life you wish.

You may choose to color the elephant purple, that’s OK. You may choose to draw a house or a spaceship. Your opportunities are endless, the fact is, you can choose to do what you want, you can be anything, so go ahead and draw two left feet or four eyeballs, it’s OK.

The world would be one boring place if our lives consisted of only eight colored crayons. Instead we have many colors, many opportunities to learn and create. So I take my colored crayons and I sit down with my blank sheet I call life, and I draw. I may not draw well but I draw the life I wish and put it up on my refrigerator and I remind myself that differences are good, and the ability to choose allows myself to be anything and anyone that I want to be.

I believe in colored crayons.