I believe in accepting people for who they are and what they believe in. I also believe in people who stand behind their opinions even when they may not be liked by other people or are not popular with others. Throughout my life I have been in situations and seen people act these ways for both good and bad.
Growing up, my parents always taught me to be respectful of everyone and never to make fun of people. I listened to them but never really thought about why they were telling me this until I found out for myself. I had just got a new haircut and it looked very funny on me. When I got to school the kids made fun of me. This lasted for the whole day and by the time the day had ended I was very upset. When I returned home I told my parents what had happen and they told me to remember how I felt because being the person that gets picked on is a terrible thing.
“What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular.” This is a famous quote by Abraham Lincoln that ties into perfectly with my other belief; you should always stick behind your beliefs despite what others think. I can remember a few different situations when I was younger where I had let my friends talk me into doing something stupid. I had known it was a bad idea and we would get in trouble for it but I would eventually cave into my friends. As a result almost every time I was right and we would get caught and get into trouble. It’s always important to stick behind your opinions and not to just buy into what everyone else is doing.
I have learned from my own personal experiences that respecting others and sticking with your opinions is not always easy. I learned the hard way in some circumstances, which I think is a good thing. It was tough at the time but a good lesson was learned in the end. Being respectful of others doesn’t mean you have to be everyone’s friend. It means you should just treat others the way you would want to be treated. Standing behind your beliefs is not always easy either but you will find that it is important to do so. I realize it would be impossible for everyone to share my beliefs, but I still feel very strongly about the importance of them.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.