This I Believe

Stephanie - San Francisco, California
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

The “Bad Guy”

It was dark and I sat there with the flashing glow of the television reflecting off my glasses. I had a bowl of noodles on the table beside me and chopsticks in my hand. The movie I was watching was a cheesy war hero movie, where the handsome soldier comes out of the dust unharmed while the “bad guys” lay dead on the floor. For the first time, I wondered about those “bad guys”. I wondered about their families, about their colleagues, and about their friends. How would they react when they found out they will never see Dan or James or Peter ever again? How many days will they cry? How many days will the gloom hang upon their clothes? How many days will it take for them to go through a day without feeling like the world just ended? Those “bad guys” not only had loved ones but also dreams! Wilson will never get that Christmas bonus, Jason will never sum up the courage to ask that girl out on a date, Eric will never get to go to the bar with his old classmates.

This isn’t just about dead people and anti-war messages; it’s about looking at things in a new light. I believe we all need to learn how to take a new perspective on things. We have to learn nothing is one dimensional and that the “bad guy” isn’t always the bad guy in every tale. From that sleep-deprived night on, everything I heard, I processed and tried to see the “bad guy’s” perspective. When my friend complained about some teacher’s unwillingness to curve a test, I tried to look at it differently. Maybe the teacher didn’t curve that test because he wanted everyone to try harder on the next one and to take the next test more seriously. When my dad complained about a co-worker being lazy, maybe that co-worker is just old and can’t keep up.

If everyone looks at the world this way, we can better understand one another and not to get so angry the next time someone cuts us off in traffic or yells at us when we apparently didn’t do anything wrong. Looking at the antagonist’s prospective just makes the world a little easier to live in.