This I Believe

Lisa - Belleville, New Jersey
Entered on January 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humanism

I believe in humanity. I believe that every human being has the right to live a happy and healthy life, regardless of his race, religion, or skin color. One of the questions that people ask that bother me the most is, “What are you?” They don’t say, “What religion are you?”, or “What nationality are you?” They simply ask, “What are you?” Whenever I hear someone asking this, in my opinion, silly question I simply reply, “HUMAN!”

This recently occurred about a week ago in my art class. There was a new student in the class. One of the boys that was sitting at the new student’s table began speaking to her. The first question to escape his mouth was, “What are you?” The girl had understood what he meant and replied by telling him her nationality. I do not feel that is the correct response to the question. If he wanted to know her nationality, he should have asked specifically what her nationality is. In his defense, he may say that he was trying to get to know her, but is her nationality what makes her? Is it not her personality and her views that make her who she really is?

Let’s face it: people make judgments and stereotype. I feel that we should not allow others to judge us by our physical appearances or our ethnicity. I believe that by stating race or religion when first meeting a person allows him to make judgments. For example, if the girl responded by saying she was Hispanic he may think that she has an attitude, simply because of the stereotype. This is unfair. She may be the sweetest person in the world, but he is stereotyping her based on her nationality.

A person’s culture and religion may help him form many views. I do not think that it makes the person who he is. Every Hispanic does not have a bad attitude and every Jewish person is not greedy. People make these judgments, though, and they are very wrong in doing so. I do not like someone any more or any less based on his race, religion, or skin color.

I believe that everyone should take a step back and look at the big picture. Yes, there are many different religions and many different nationalities, but in the end we are all living, breathing humans. We were all born with the opportunities to make ourselves who we want to be. In the end, black, white, Christian, Jewish, we are all humans. I believe that someday everyone will make this realization and stop judging others.