This I Believe

Megan - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 5, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: tolerance

I believe in creating your own opinions and blocking out the stereotypical thoughts of the people surrounding you. My family recently inherited a pitbull to care for and my first reaction was to be scared. Stories about the “dangerous pitbulls” were all over television and newspapers. Unfortunately, I listened to these people and rejected the love-filled puppy as much as I possibly could. Once I finally let my guard down and accepted that he was a part of our family now, I saw a pitbull I wish was visible to everyone who thought badly of them. He is almost two and I still have not seen one sign of aggression towards a child, person or any other dogs. The only thing I have seen in this dog is a man’s best friend and a dog as smart as a person. The only thing I have witnessed this dog attack and destroy is, sadly, all my shoes.

Apparently, I am not the only one who had this assumptions about a pitbull because one day we received phone calls. We try to keep him inside or on a leash at all times because we know peoples’ frightened reaction towards them but one day he got loose. Like any other dog would do, he dashed to the neighbor’s yard where he saw a ball being thrown around. As soon as I called his name he returned and no harm done. However, that was not how the neighbor interpreted it. That night our phone rang off the hook with exaggerated accounts of what had happened earlier and complaints about not feeling safe with this dog in the neighborhood. Each story was different from one another and each were false. Had this been a golden retriever, the dog would have been welcomed with open arms but with the reputation they have, people already set their mind of what this dog would do next. If only these people could see the dog I see instead of listening to what others have said or heard about them, then they would only see a dog just like the others.

I had a teacher one semester all the students would complain about. I had heard every possible bad story about her but I failed to hear the good. In effect, I dreaded this class everyday and went into the class disliking her before I know anything about her. Shortly after, I realized how well I was doing in the class and how much I had actually learned. She had become my favorite teacher and I could name off reasons why. If I had just gone into the class without forming my opinions off of others, I could have saved a lot of wasted time.

I believe everything may look different in the eyes of another. Two best friends may see something complete opposites. I believe in the creation of your own opinions unaffected by the thoughts and words of others.