Karin - Berwick, Maine
Entered on April 28, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Martin Luther King once said, “I have a dream today…” He never gave up on that dream and he made a difference. Just think what would have happened if he just gave up and never stood up for what he believed. If he never took a stand African Americans wouldn’t have the rights that they have now and we wouldn’t live in unity. He once said, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Also as an anonymous person said, “If you don’t stand up for what you believe in, who will?” I believe I have to take a stand on how I think life should be.

I believe that I should stand up for myself in relationships or I will be overpowered. On May 10th 2008 I started dating someone who changed my life forever. We had many struggles, and overcame a lot of events. There were lots of tears and frustration, and somehow it was always “my fault”. I accepted that without standing up for what I believe a relationship should be like, and I got stepped on. Every time we got into an argument somehow it always came back to me but I felt like I would do anything to stay in that relationship. My close friends and family always used to tell me that I deserve better. My mother asked me if he made me feel like I was being put on a pedestal and I said no. She told me a story about one of her past relationships and when she learned that you should feel like a princess in a relationship. That impacted me to stand up for what I believe and not settle for anything less. After four months of that relationship I broke up with him and said I couldn’t be treated like that anymore. Yes, I still like him, but now I know I can’t and wont let anyone change or affect what I believe.

I believe I should stand up for what I believe under almost any circumstances. My parents have been separated since 2002 and in 2009; 7 years later are just finalizing the divorce. There were a lot of money issues in the past years but a new issue came up this time. My father suggested getting custody of me. I personally believe that a 15 year old should be able have a say in which parent they live with. So I stood up for what I believe and wrote a letter to the court. They took my opinion into consideration and agreed with me. If I hadn’t taken a stand for what I believe I could be living with my father and be very unhappy, wishing I had done something about it.

I know I am not alone in trying to make a difference. Two of my very good friends were in tiring and unhealthy relationships at one point in their lives. Their boyfriends overpowered them and they did nothing about it until they talked to me. They believed that they needed help, and I believe that relationships should be healthy and loving. I stood up for what I think is right and I helped them find the power to stand up for themselves. They found it in themselves and made a difference in their lives by standing up for what they think is right.

Standing up for what I believe might not make a big impact on society but someone who is more famous can make a huge impact on the ideas and actions of others. Many celebrities support causes after they become famous but some become famous because of the causes that they support. For example Matthew Lush became famous from standing up for what he believes and making a difference. He is a twenty-year-old homosexual and a vegan who has influenced thousands of teens to become vegetarian and to not be ashamed of being homosexual. That is just one example of someone who has made an impact on society because of what they believe.

Others might say not to stand up for what I believe because it would upset the flow of society. But do you really want to be uniform with everyone else; or do you want to stand out and state your beliefs? Don’t you want to have a voice to make a change in our world? I know I do. What’s great about each and every human is that we are not completely like anyone else. We all look different, think different, and have different views on a lot of things. Bernadette Peters, an American actress stated a great point, “You’ve gotta be original, because if you’re like someone else, what do they need you for?” She is exactly right. She took control of her life and her relationships and changed her life by standing up for what she believes. We can’t live in a black and white world, that’s boring; we need to add some color. That is why I believe we have to take a stand on what we believe and make a difference in our world today.