This I Believe

David - New Glarus, Wisconsin
Entered on January 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Sir-David G

January 24, 2008

Advanced English 9

Staying Neutral: My Belief

My parents are lawyers, so throughout my life I usually believed what they would do: pick one side and never give up on it. I never questioned this belief because I didn’t know what else to believe in. It seemed simple to me; find an argument, pick the side likely to win, and never stop proving your side right. But after a while, I saw that when you strongly believe in one thing, hurtful things come out of your mouth. I didn’t want that.

I have the right to my opinions. Everyone knows this, but they choose to inform others of their opinions. I have my opinions about every thing, from what clothes people wear to the upcoming election. I found that expressing these opinions hurt people, feelings, and me. When I was younger (and still sometimes today), I would express my opinions towards to a person with bad clothes by saying, “Whoa, did a blind man buy you those clothes?” It never occurred to me, but these comments were actually mean. Once I realized how painful opinions could be, and wanting a different view on life from my parents, I began my search for a new way of living life.

At age 13 I didn’t want to believe what my parents believed in, I wanted to find my own way, a new way of living. Since I’m slow and lazy, I wanted to be left out of most things (aside from the always fun, small-town gossip), but still have my own opinions. I vowed to be like Switzerland and stay neutral the topics that made a large impact on my life.

Although I vowed to stay neutral, some issues were hard for me not to say anything about to friends. In eighth grade (due to my parents’ and the TV’s comments) I had strong opinions against the current president. One day in my US History class, the class started talking about the president. Since I have opinions against him I tried hard not to say anything. But the urge was too powerful; I said what I thought about him. That I now regret saying. Another incident happened in the late summer of 2007. My dad forced me to participate in a sport, but the due date to start football was long past. He decided that I had to play soccer, “end of discussion” he said. Even though I strained to keep my opinions to myself, a few statements (that I regret saying) of what I thought of his quick and “unfair decision” to make me play soccer slipped out. As I look back on it, I should have kept my opinion; I’m bad at it, in my head. I didn’t. I kept stating what was in my head repeatedly. But he stood firm with his “end of discussion” statement. After the soccer season was over, I realized that if I had kept my opinion to myself, the soccer season would’ve been more enjoyable.

I have seen the results of being one-sided. It didn’t turn out well for me. I found that staying neutral on large issues will help me lead a happy and satisfactory life.