This I Believe

Melissa - 48105, Michigan
Entered on January 18, 2008

Everyone wants to please someone. Whether that is your parents, your friends, or a teacher it depends. But I believe that, while pleasing others is nice, pleasing yourself is the best thing you can do. By pleasing yourself, it doesn’t matter what you do, you can still be happy and enjoy life. In the process of pleasing others, sometimes it’s easy to lose yourself.

It is well known that in history, humans are notorious for making judgments. Many examples come in the form of racism, like enslaving the African American race, or discrimination based on religious, as in World War II and Hitler. I believe that judgments on a person’s physical or mental state should be avoided as much as possible.

Sometimes, making judgments is hard to avoid, especially in society today. In racially diverse areas like Ann Arbor, it is very easy to become stereotypical. People are split into groups based on looks, and each group is assigned what to do or what not to do. Many times I have been perceived as something I might not have been just by what people think when they see me. When people do this, it restricts what you might become because of what society expects of you. It’s slightly degrading when someone tells me that I should be able to do something, or acts surprised because I can’t do something else. People start to think that they can’t do something when their peers tell them that they shouldn’t or aren’t allowed to. A lot of the time, people will just not do something to save themselves some face.

It’s possible to both please others and yourself. Many times when someone asks you to do something, it is really for your own good. Instead of taking the idea of pleasing yourself selfishly, it should be taken as a guideline to finding something that really does you well in the long run. Doing something that seems like what you want right now may not be such a good idea. You may come to regret your mistakes in the past that keep you from achieving what you want in the future.

At times, I have been afraid to go against what my parents tell me, because of what they will say to me afterwards. But I’ve remembered that this is my life, not theirs. What I want to do with it is my business, yet I still would very much like to do something to make them happy. Life is about finding and striking the perfect balance between pleasing others and pleasing yourself.