This I Believe

Sarah - USA
Entered on September 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: race

I believe that prejudice is still a huge issue today; I have faced prejudice and I have learned how to rise above it. A definition of prejudice is “an unfounded hatred, fear, or mistrust of a person of a group, especially one of a particular religion, ethnicity, or nationality.

Throughout my life I have expirienced the feeling of not being accepted because of the way that I look. Growing up, I always thought there was something wrong with me becuse I didn’t look like the other girls. It was especially hard on me because I haven’t lived in a very diverse place so there is barely anyone who has similar features to mine. I am adopted so my own family doesn’t even look like me. People would always compliment on how my brothers and sister looked so much like my parents. But they would never say anything about me looking like them; this would always hurt my feelings because I knew I didn’t look like them, but when people would say that in front of me, I felt like the fact was getting rubbed into my face even more.

Being Korean was an issue with people when I was younger and still today. The incident that I most remember was when I was in first grade. A person walked up to me and called me “flat face”, I didn’t know how to respond back to that so, I just cried and it upset me for a long time. Just within the last couple of years, I dyed my hair platinum blonde hoping it would help me out but, in the end, it didn’t help at all or solve anything. I felt kind of stupid.

When I see someone who isn’t Asian, I don’t think any differently of him or her. They are a person just like me and they have feelings just like anyone else. Looks shouldn’t matter at all. I think that I have become a stronger person because I need to learn to love myself for who I was and it shouldn’t matter what others think. It’s what I think of myself that is most important. I have been called some very harmful names in my lifetime and trust me it’s no fun at all but I think that it has made me appreciate myself so much more. I love who I am today. There is always going to be those cruel people out there who are against certain people for their own reasons that we will probably never understand. But gurtful sayings and actions can only hurt you if you let them, I have conquered through that, I can still love me for me no metter what anyone says or does to try to change that.