This I Believe

Leah - Elgin, Illinois
Entered on October 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: tolerance

“Don’t miss out on other people and don’t let other people miss out on you,” explained “Superman Moran.” That quote changed me. I heard it as part of a motivational speech and it really made an impact on me. The friendships I make are never planned. They just simply happen. They happen because I don’t let myself miss out on them. I make the effort to find out who the person really is. As difficult as it may be, I put aside all preconceived ideas about the person that others have tried to instill into my brain and give them a chance. I give myself the liberty to decide what kind of person I think he or she is. I don’t let other people make my decisions for me.

I am a teenage girl in high school. There seems to be a social law amongst teenage girls that it is acceptable to hate one girl in the group but still act like her friend. One of my friends is “that” girl. All of my other friends dislike her and they don’t have any real reason on which to base their hate. Before I heard the speech from “Superman Moran,” I would have let the other girls’ ideas influence the way I thought about her. I would have kept letting those girls control my thoughts and never have built any sort of relationship with this girl. But then I took some time to reflect on what was going on and thought about what “Superman” had said. I realized that I couldn’t let the opinions of others interfere with me making a friend. So even though her supposed “friends” had turned their backs on her, I still made the effort to do things with her and ignore what everyone else had to say. I didn’t care about what others thought or said about me for doing it because I didn’t want to miss out on her. Our friendship has given me the insight to build even more friendships in life with some unexpected people.

A lot of times people judge a person by the way that person looks or acts or with whom that person associates. I’ve learned that there is much more to a person than what can be seen from the outside. Some of those unexpected friendships have turned out to be some of the greatest and truest friendships I have. If I let other people control my life in terms of my human relationships, then I could miss out on some really great people. I believe in giving everyone a fighting chance, then; I can make my own judgment call.