THIS I BELIEVE
I believe in movement, imagination, and style. I believe in individuality, growing, learning and discovering what is within us. I believe you should laugh when you can, apologize when you should and let go of what you can’t change. In other words, take chances, give everything you have and have no regrets. To live your life without worry of what others think of you, I believe we must become individuals in a society of conformists.
I believe, because of society, people lose sight of who they are, and they become who they think they should be. When I was growing up, being as shy as one can be, the only time I felt free was when I was dancing. I was free of cares, judgment and being compared to others. Nothing was going to stop me from moving to the music. I was truly free.
Because of my love of dance and movement, I want to focus on imagination as the one thing I believe pulls together all the other things I mentioned; style, movement, growth discovery, etc.
I think to do this we must educate our youths. Education is a basic need of society, not only for its transmission of knowledge but because it plays a major part in forming our youth. Basically, teaching them how to live and act in society. I believe that our future lies in the hands of our children. They must learn, grow and discover what goes on around them. I believe the key to life is within our young. How we act every day, every little thing we do teaches them how to live.
Weekdays, I work at Ensign Elementary School in an after school program with a focus on art and activity. Here I have learned the power of imagination in young people. I see how easily students can be distracted and bored with everyday instruction. My co teachers and I find great success when we tap their minds and challenge them to be creative, whether they are dancing, painting or any number of activities. I notice that the idea of thinking outside the box is more acceptable after regular classes. Students are unafraid to take the leap! They remind me of myself in school, wanting to try something but afraid and cautious to pursue it. If it weren’t for those teachers of mine who “gave me permission” to use my imagination, I would have never accepted my talents and abilities.
When I was in elementary school, I didn’t care what people thought of me. I would act, dress and say what I wanted. I would live in that moment and who ever wanted to play what I was playing was my friend, at least for that moment. But, as I got older, as I grew into new schools, I was taught to judge, to compare, I learned who to like and dislike. Clicks started forming. I started caring what others thought of me. Yet here, in school is where we learn to be a part of society. Is the hidden curriculum, the unwritten goals of schools, teaching us correctly? True, we must learn obedience, authority and even conformity to cultural norms. Nevertheless, are we forgetting to educate our youth how to become individuals? And to do so we must uncover their potential by teaching students how to use their imaginations.
The Arts teach kids how to become unique, showing them different ways of expressing themselves. It teaches them to be silly, tough and to experience that not everything turns out the way you would hope. And most of all, it teaches you respect. Respect everyone and everything for what it’s worth.
Have we forgotten the influence of the Arts, an escape through the power of imagination? Fine Arts in schools are important for people to become individuals. Yet, public schools are taking away the arts by cutting programs to save money, wanting students to only focus only on Math, English and Science. Will only rich kids get to learn what art is?
I believe the will to learn is in everyone, it is everyone around us that is in disbelief. If you are told you cannot achieve it enough times, you will unfortunately, soon enough start believing it. I believe in dreaming. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission” As soon as we begin to promote imagination, students will come to believe in themselves.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.