This I Believe

Diandra - Universal City, Texas
Entered on November 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

This is I believe…

People should not be defined by a mistake; rather people should be recognized by their ability to move forward after a mistake. Defining people by a single mistake is judgmental and totally ineffective in the determining the character of a person.

Since I was fifteen, people tried to define me by a mistake. I became pregnant by a boyfriend and made the decision to keep my child. People would stare at my growing stomach in disbelief, continually defining me by one bad choice. I refused to be a statistic, and I continue to work towards my success. I have taken many steps forward through that mistake and work hard for my son. I am in college, working full time at a place that provides a good learning facility for my son, and providing a stable home. But everyday, after everything I have accomplished, I still face criticism and negativity. Though people continue to judge me and only see a young girl with a child, I am more than that. They do not see a strong young mother who is doing all she can to provide a healthy and happy environment for her son and herself. Some choose to define me by a mistake, and not how I moving forward through that mistake.

Former President Clinton accomplished many great things for our nation. However, there are those that would choose to define him as an adulterer based on a mistake. There are those that define him by Monica Lewinsky. President Clinton successfully worked with Congress in 1993 to make it easier to register to vote. He also signed The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) enabling eligible people who are employed with new children or sick family members to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave. Clinton also strengthened the gun laws requiring a waiting period and background check for all hand gun buyers. I choose not to define President Clinton by Monica Lewinsky but by his ability to be an effective leader afterwards.

There are numerous examples of celebrities, political icons, and everyday people that do well for their communities after a mistake. But there will always be some people and critics who define a person by a mistake; to do so is judgmental and wrong. I strongly believe that we cannot let one mistake change our view of someone; we cannot define people by a single mistake. Celebrities, politicians and everyday people make mistakes. It is how a person continues to persevere after the error that displays their true character. That is what I believe.