This I Believe

Jake - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on October 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

All human beings are created with their own individualistic ideology. Not everyone accepts that fact, and instead, conforms to the expectations of those around them. Biased opinions are rampant from parents toward their offspring every generation. Although the environment we develop in dictates a significant amount of our influence as an individual, I feel strongly (This I Believe) about people generating their own ethics, values, and beliefs despite the indoctrination of family, friends, teachers, etc. The most prevalent examples of this deterioration of independent thought are observed in politics, religion, and personal preferences.

In certain situations, the development of opinions is influenced solely on your parents’ experiences. You may have been born into a family of war heroes with the conservative mindset to believe that no matter what, you will serve your country despite the ethicality behind the decision. You may have been born into a family with a liberal perspective of resolving matters peacefully instead of fighting to determine the victor. Corollary, as a witness to these ideas, you will feel obligated to follow in the same mental path as those before.

When it comes to religion, you are typically taught the same beliefs as your elders. Religion is learned similar to how one learns to speak because the more you know or time you spend in a specific environment, the less individual prospect you are given. From personal experience, when I am asked my religious background I simply state that I observe Judaism, but the fact of the matter is that I am completely ignorant of what that truly mean. There was never a decision into which religion I felt most logical or personal, only the mirroring of my guardians.

Traditionally, you eat what you are given, eventually you appreciate what you are given, and finally you like what you are given. Even personal preferences sometimes lack individuality. The influences of the past are prevalent factors in the types of choices we make daily. If you are raised in a household where even a sandwich becomes costly, you will most likely be extremely cautious with your savings as an adult despite your success.