American Literature I
5 March 2008
“This I Believe”
I believe in my own ideas.
In a society where people are told what to think, what to do and how to do it, individuals who think for themselves and make their own decisions are rare. Even though society may tell some people how to dress, comb their hair and even how to speak, I will never bow before societal trends.
My grandmother taught me the importance of hard work, responsibility, and integrity. The most important lesson I learned from her, was a lesson she never meant to teach. She never planned on her lungs collapsing and having to leave her home for the last time in an ambulance.
My grandmother was a life-long smoker. She never had an affinity for cigarettes, but that idea was put to the wayside, because everybody who was a somebody held a Pall Mall between their fingers. She was determined to fit in, to be a part of society. Even though, she had severe emphysema and her health was deteriorating, she would not cast away the habit society had so long ago instilled in her. Her charisma and social cognizance is probably what made her the successful businesswomen she was, but she paid a terrible price.
I can still see myself standing next to her hospital bed, seeing the tubs down her throat and the mass of wire covering her body. It was at that moment I decided I would always believe in my own ideas. I would never conform to the constraints of society.
Of course, rejecting society can also have its consequences. It won’t help you with that big job interview, the promotion, or interacting with other people. Nevertheless, I would rather follow my own conscience, than blindly reciprocate the actions of others.
By believing in my own ideas, I can listen to my own heart, and truly think for myself, so in the end I too am not left behind as a byproduct of an ever changing society.
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