This I Believe

Mariel - Wilmington, Massachusetts
Entered on December 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

People focus far too much on learning facts. They do not look at things in a way that is different from the ordinary. They do not take the time to interpret things in their own way. People accept things as facts and do not look for the qualities that make something fun. I strongly believe in the art of observation and finding humor in everyday situations.

Many people in society define learning as the gaining of factual knowledge. They accept what they are told and don’t challenge themselves to look for hidden meanings. Society thinks serious situations should be dealt with in a serious manner; that there should be no humor.

My belief in observation has allowed me to learn a lot about people. And my ability to laugh has helped me cope with stressful situations. Recently, someone that I am very close with told me that he is gay. I was the first person he told because he was terrified to tell his family. I told him that it didn’t matter to me because I care about him for who he is and not what he is. It was extremely emotional because he hates himself for it and wishes more than anything to be “normal”. After we talked about it, I started to laugh and he couldn’t understand what I found so funny. He thought that I was laughing at him but I explained that it struck me as being funny because a few weeks earlier I had considered joining the Gay Straight Alliance at school. I told him that I found it hysterical the way events in our lives find a way of linking to one another.

My grandmother shares my attitude. She has always been able to see things in a way that could make her laugh. When I was younger my grandmother had surgery and spent a few days in the hospital. I went to se her and I was afraid that she might not be the same after the surgery. However, after seeing her I saw that she was slightly nervous but was able to see the bright side of everything. Seeing my grandmother get through her surgery has enforced my belief in laughter.

I have learned more about people by observing them than I could by reading a book about them. People can hide their secrets and fears, but you can learn about whom they are by watching I saw that my grandmother was scared but she remained who she was and she saw the humorous side of things. Being gay was my friend’s secret. I wouldn’t have guessed that by watching him. I learned who he was by observing him; he is nice, honest, loving person who, like everyone else, has a secret. He, like the rest of society, just needed some laughter to help make things easier.