Look Beyond Yourself

Kaleigh - Abilene, Texas
Entered on March 21, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the right of every human being to enjoy life. We are all born into circumstances that we cannot control and were not allowed to choose beforehand. Being born is completely beyond our choice; God does not ask us what we want to look like, who we want our parents to be, where or when we want to be born. He decides such things alone, then opens the doors of life and says, “Here you are, have at it!” So there we are, wet, crying, naked, and thrust into a world we know nothing about, knowing nothing of who we are or what is to come. We simply are, and have to grow up in our circumstances as God decided them to be.

Since we have no control over the circumstances of our birth, why should we feel guilty or ashamed of them? Why should our family’s wealth, or the appearance of our bodies and faces, or our ethnicity change how we feel about life? Why should others be allowed to disparage us for such things? Why should one circumstance be seen as better than another, since God created them all? Rich, poor, male, female, American, African, tall, short, gorgeous, plain, whatever, is it not a miracle that we exist at all? Is not life itself a precious gift that God has given us all? So then, why should anyone have the right to take away life’s freedoms from someone else? Why is the media allowed to tell girls that they are only beautiful if they look a certain way? Who gave anyone the authority to decide what is beautiful?

No girl (or boy) should be told they are ugly, or fat, or worthless. That message ruins the chance to enjoy life to the fullest, to enjoy the air they breathe, the food they eat, the family and friends they have, the earth they live in. Instead of enjoying the fun of life, they obsess over their self-loathing. God did not create us to feel ashamed of who He made us to be, to hate ourselves, to destroy ourselves with eating disorders, self-mutilation or suicide.

I lived with anorexia through all of high school and with self-image problems most of my life. I always hated my reflection, hated my face, my body, my genes, everything, never able to understand why God would make me something I despise. But I finally came to realize that God did not create me to be obsessed with one thing (myself). He created an entire universe for me to enjoy, and for everyone to enjoy, so how can I live my life only caring about one tiny speck in all of creation?

We all need to look beyond ourselves and see the beauty of this world, and then treat others in a way that will let them enjoy it as well. When that happens, I believe this will be a universe of love, peace, and equality.